[Supreme Court to consider curbing suits filed in Texas court]The Supreme Court on Monday debated whether such forum-shopping is what Congress intended to happen with patent litigation — and whether there was anything wrong with it.
Kraft’s lawyer at the Supreme Court, William M. Jay, told the court that Congress is looking at the situation.
Usually when the Supreme Court rules, “we can be pretty confident that Congress is acting against the backdrop of that decision,” she said.
The Eastern District of Texas is where a stunning number of patent cases are born — nearly 45 percent of the nation’s total, according to an amicus brief filed at the Supreme Court.
Instead, the Indiana-based Heartland was sued in Delaware, the district with the second highest number of patent suits, about 10 percent.
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Supreme Court case could change the game for automotive patent lawsuits
The result of a Supreme Court case heard on Monday between two food companies may benefit the automotive industry and its technology suppliers.
The Eastern District of Michigan court could see as many as three dozen more patent cases annually if the Supreme Court rules in favor of changing the rule, Barber said.
Also, the Texas court requires the use of a local lawyer in proceedings.
“The U.S. court system is set up to give the defendant an advantage of being at home, except in these cases,” Barber said.
Roughly 10 percent of all patent cases involved automotive companies, Barber said, and the number is expected rise to rise substantially as technology continues to expand.
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In the argument, TC Heartland argues that patent venue rules are special and should only be filed “where the defendant resides.”
The wonky issue of patent venues is now in the hands of the US Supreme Court, which heard arguments yesterday in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Group Brands.
It didn’t take long during oral arguments yesterday for the Supreme Court to hear about the “single judge in the United States that has one-quarter of all patent cases” from a lawyer representing patent defendant TC Heartland.
The company appealed again, asking the Supreme Court to take its case.
Further Reading Patent defendants won’t receive a “Get out of East Texas free” card TC Heartland appealed, but the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled against the company last year.