December 5, 2021

Volume XI, Number 339

Advertisement
Advertisement

December 03, 2021

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

December 02, 2021

Subscribe to Latest Legal News and Analysis

Federal Circuit Finds Patent Venue Over Alien Corporations Is Proper In Any District

In an important patent venue decision (In re HTC Corporation, No. 2018-130 (May 9, 2018)), the Federal Circuit has denied the mandamus petition of a Taiwanese company challenging the District of Delaware’s finding that that court is a proper venue for patent infringement litigation over the company.  Relying on the Supreme Court’s decision in Brunette Machine Works, Ltd. v. Kokcum Industries, Inc., 405 U.S. 706 (1972), the unanimous panel reaffirmed that the rule that non-U.S. resident or “alien” defendants can be sued in any judicial district applies in patent cases.

Although the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Grp. Brands LLC, 137 S. Ct. 1514 (2017)—which limits venue over U.S. corporations to their state of incorporation or where they have a regular and established place of business—expressly declined to take a position on the Brunette decision, the panel emphatically announces that TC Heartland does not alter the conclusion that venue over non-U.S. resident patent infringement defendants is proper in any judicial district.  Among other reasons, the panel notes that any other interpretation could create a “venue gap, where at least some alien defendants would be entirely exempt from patent infringement actions. . . [and] this court–without clear guidance from Congress—will not broadly upend the well-established rule that suits against alien defendants are outside the operation of the federal venue laws.”

Takeaway:  This decision addresses an important question left open in TC Heartland in a way that will likely be seen as favorable to patent holders.  Mandamus petitions on other important venue issues left open by TC Heartland, however, including whether a corporate defendant can be sued in any federal district in its state of incorporation (see our prior post), still remain to be resolved.

© Copyright 2021 Squire Patton Boggs (US) LLPNational Law Review, Volume VIII, Number 131
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

About this Author

Bryan Schwartz, Squire Patton Boggs, intellectual property attorney, litigation lawyer, patent law, US International Trade Commission legal counsel
Principal

Bryan brings nearly 25 years of intellectual property litigation experience to the Squire Patton Boggs Intellectual Property & Technology Practice Group’s US litigation practice, including numerous representations of parties in Section 337 investigations at the US International Trade Commission.

Bryan has also appeared in numerous US district courts and before arbitration panels in IP disputes. His litigation experience extends to a diverse array of technologies, including semiconductors, lasers, wireless communications, batteries,...

202-457-6000
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement