TDR Files SCOTUS Amicus Brief for AIPLA in TC Heartland

Addressing Venue in Patent Cases

I am honored to have drafted the brief on behalf of the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA) in TC Heartland LLC v Kraft Food Group Brands LLC, U.S., No. 16-341 (2017), which concerns the appropriate scope of venue in patent infringement cases.

The brief supports the Federal Circuit interpretation of the general venue statute at 28 U.S.C. 1391 as providing a definition of “resides” applicable in the patent venue statute later in that chapter at 28 U.S.C. 1400(b).

Although the Supreme Court in 1957 held that the two statutes worked independently, Congress changed the law in 1988 by adding to the general venue statute the language “for purposes of venue under this chapter.” In 2011, Congress rewrote section 1391(b) to provide a definition of “resides” specifically applicable “for all venue purposes.”

The Association recognizes there may be problems with the current venue rules, but suggests these current rules are better than a return to the antiquated patent venue rules of the mid-20th century, as espoused by Petitioner. If changes are needed, they should come from Congress.

TDR filed the brief on AIPLA’s behalf on February 6. Argument is set for March 27, 2017.



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