Supreme Court Ruling In Patent Venue Case Could Help Combat Patent Trolls

BY Heather Greenfield
May 22, 2017

Washington — The Supreme Court ruled in a case that many hope could prevent some patent trolls from bringing lawsuits to excessively patent-friendly courts like the Eastern District of Texas. The TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods case has been closely watched by tech companies and others which have been targeted by patent trolls trying to bring cases to the Eastern District in hopes of pressing for quick, profitable settlements in cases they couldn’t win in court.

The ruling matched what Computer & Communications Industry Association requested in the amicus brief it filed arguing that the court should narrowly interpret the patent venue statute to prevent forum shopping.  This decision prevents a small business that’s headquartered and incorporated in Indiana from being dragged into court in Texas or Delaware.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“This Supreme Court ruling can help curb decades of misuse of the patent system by restricting a common tactic used by patent trolls — forum shopping. For too long patent trolls have relied on a combination of case load back up, high upfront legal costs, favorable rules in courts like the Eastern District and the cost of travel to pressure defending companies to settle court cases the trolls were unlikely to win on the legal merits.

“Even with the Supreme Court ruling, Congress needs to step in with comprehensive patent reform. Patent trolls continue to drain $29 billion a year from US companies, and while today’s ruling removes one tool used to manipulate the system, there are still others enabling the abuse of the patent system. It’s an area ripe for bipartisan cooperation as Congress looks for low cost and no cost ways to grow jobs and the economy.”

For more background on this issue, see Black’s Huffington Post op-ed when the Supreme Court heard the case here.

For media inquiries, please contact:

Heather Greenfield [email protected]

Related Articles

CCIA Welcomes Bipartisan Patent Bill That Would Update PTO Procedures, Promote Fairness In Patent Appeals Process

Jun 16, 2022

Washington – Senators Cornyn, Leahy, and Tillis have introduced the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) Reform Act of 2022 today.  Current USPTO guidance allows the PTAB to refuse to examine the validity of challenged patents, even if the patent is clearly invalid. This bi-partisan legislation would ensure that meritorious challenges to the validity of…

CCIA Files Joint Amicus Brief Asking Court To Re-Hear Standard Essential Patents Case

Apr 21, 2022

Washington – The Computer and Communications Industry Association was joined by The App Association, High Tech Alliance, and the Public Interest Patent Law Institute in filing a joint amici brief Wednesday evening with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit requesting that the Panel re-hear a case involving standard essential patents (SEPs) en…

CCIA Welcomes Nominees To Fill Out FCC, NTIA and PTO

Oct 26, 2021

Washington — President Biden has nominated people to key positions to oversee the U.S. tech industry today including at the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) and Federal Communications Commission (FCC).   The White House has nominated Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel as the Commission’s permanent Chair, and Gigi Sohn, a…