Subsequent to the Supreme Court’s ruling in TC Heartland, some foreign corporations were advancing the contention that the venue for patent infringement lawsuits naming them as a defendant was not proper in any court in the United States.

Today, the Federal Circuit addressed that contention in In re HTC Corporation, ruling that foreign corporations are subject to suit in any judicial district.

This ruling will likely give patent owners more flexibility in deciding where they file patent infringement cases against foreign companies.

Whether there is any appreciable increase in patent cases filed in Delaware, the Eastern District of Virginia, the Eastern District of Texas or other particular venues remains to be seen.

In the underlying case, HTC Corporation, a Taiwanese corporation, asked the District Court in Delaware to dismiss a patent infringement case filed against it, arguing that the venue was improper in Delaware.

The District Court held that HTC Corp, as a foreign corporation, was subject to suit in any judicial district.

The Federal Circuit looked at the patent venue statute (28 U.S.C. Sec. 1400), the general venue statute (28 U.S.C. Sec. 1391), legislative histories, and prior Supreme Court decisions, and determined there was no error in the District Court’s analysis.

Author Photo

Ted Polasek

Ted was a founding partner of Polasek, Quisenberry & Errington, L.L.P. (PQE), a firm that represented patent owners and companies accused of patent infringement. For nearly 25 years, Ted’s core practice has been litigating patent infringement cases, for hourly and clients on a contingent fee or other result-oriented basis. Ted attended the South Texas College of Law and graduated cum laude with his Juris Doctorate in 1990 and received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Texas.

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