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Supreme Court Ruling Reins In Where Patent Lawsuits May Be Filed - Intellectual Property News

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Intellectual Property News

Posted on: May 31, 2017

In TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, the Supreme Court unanimously held that a domestic corporation resides only in its state of incorporation for patent infringement suits.  

Under the patent venue statue, 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b), “any civil action for patent infringement may be brought in the judicial district where the defendant resides, or where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business.”

Relying on a 1957 Supreme Court ruling, the Court found that as applied to domestic corporations, the term “reside” in § 1400(b) refers only to the state of incorporation and subsequent amendments to § 1391 did not modify this meaning as interpreted by the 1957 Supreme Court case.  

The Court’s ruling likely will limit the ability of patent owners to file cases in favorable courts, such as the popular Eastern District of Texas. Read more about the case in a New York Times article by Adam Liptak here and a Bloomberg Politics article by Greg Stohr and Susan Decker here.

To read the Supreme Court decision, click here.  

This article was written by Matthew Clark, SmithAmundsen LLC. If you would like to write or submit content for the Intellectual Property Section please contact Kim Ferguson at


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