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Supreme Court Decides TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods

Today, the Supreme Court issued its breaking decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC.

The court held that as applied to domestic corporations, “reside[nce]” in Section 1400(b) (the patent venue statute) refers only to the state of incorporation; the amendments to Section 1391 (the general venue statute) did not modify the meaning of Section 1400(b) as interpreted by the Supreme Court in Fourco Glass Co. v. Transmirra Products, 353 U.S. 222 (1957) (holding that for purposes of §1400(b) a domestic corporation “resides” only in its State of incorporation). A link to the recent decision can be found here.

Effectively, this far-reaching decision restricts the venue where patent infringement suits against domestic corporations can be brought to (1) where the defendant resides (i.e. is incorporated); (2) or where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business. Residence by personal jurisdiction alone is insufficient. As a result, a drop in complaints filed in the Eastern District of Texas is predictable.