ABA amicus brief opposes expansive venue in patent cases, cites perception of forum shopping

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The ABA has filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court that argues the patent venue law has been wrongly interpreted in a way that allows the nationwide filing of patent infringement suits.

The expansive interpretation, the brief says, has ironically led to a concentration of patent suits in two judicial districts—districts that are perceived to be friendly to plaintiffs. “The perception that venue concentration stems from forum shopping erodes trust in the legal system, affects the credibility of the patent bar, and undermines public confidence in the patent system,” the ABA brief (PDF) says.

The ABA brief urges the Supreme Court to rule that venue for corporate defendants is limited to either the judicial district where the defendant resides or where it has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business, according to an ABA press release.

The case is TC Heartland v. Kraft Food Brands Group. At issue is whether the patent venue statute is affected by a more lenient general federal law on venue.

The ABA argues that the patent venue law exclusively determines venue, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has wrongly held otherwise.




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