No Change to Patent Venue Law

Author: Lauren J. Dreyer
Editor: Aaron Gleaton Clay

In In re TC Heartland LLC, No. 2016-105 (Fed. Cir. Apr. 29, 2016), the Federal Circuit denied TC Heartland LLC’s petition for a writ of mandamus that would have directed the Delaware district court to dismiss or transfer the case based on lack of personal jurisdiction or improper venue.

The Court rejected the argument that Congress’s 2011 amendments to the general venue statute effectively overruled the Court’s precedent in VE Holding Corp. v. Johnson Gas Appliance Co., 917 F.2d 1574 (Fed. Cir. 1990). It held that when Congress changed the venue statute from “For the purposes of venue under this chapter” to “For all venue purposes,” it broadened the definition of corporate residence, not narrowed it. The Court also rejected Heartland’s argument that the Delaware district court lacked specific personal jurisdiction over Heartland, an Indiana company headquartered in Indiana. Instead, it held that its precedent in Beverly Hills Fan Co. v. Royal Sovereign Corp., 21 F.3d 1558 (Fed. Cir. 1994), applied because, as in that case, Heartland admittedly shipped orders of the accused products directly to Delaware. The Court also noted that Heartland did not dispute that the infringement claims arose out of or related to those shipments.

 

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