In Defense of the Federal Circuit: TC Heartland and Patent Venue

Guest Post by Professors Megan M. La Belle & Paul R. Gugliuzza

Patent litigation is, as we all know, highly concentrated in a small number of districts.  Most notably—some might say, notoriously—the rural Eastern District of Texas hears about forty percent of all patent cases nationwide.  Many lawyers and scholars consider this case concentration to be a critical flaw in the patent system.

Against this background, TC Heartland doesn’t seem like a case the Supreme Court would hear simply to affirm.  As Dennis reported last week, nearly twenty amicus briefs have been filed urging reversal, including one signed by sixty-one law professors and economists.  Predictions of a unanimous ruling against the Federal Circuit are not hard to find.  Indeed, TC Heartland looks like other recent cases in which the Supreme Court has reversed the Federal Circuit without breaking a sweat:  It involves a procedural-type rule so favorable to patent owners that, one could easily assume, it must conflict with the rules in other areas of federal litigation.

The Federal Circuit, in the caselaw on review in TC Heartland, has interpreted the patent venue statute to allow patentees to sue corporations for patent infringement in any district where personal jurisdiction exists.  For companies that sell products nationwide, venue is proper almost anywhere, and that enables litigation to cluster in places like East Texas.  Surely, the conventional wisdom seems to be, the Supreme Court will not permit the Federal Circuit to make the venue statute a dead letter in most patent cases.

In our forthcoming article, we defend the Federal Circuit’s venue doctrine, and we challenge the notion that Federal Circuit venue law is outside the mainstream.  As we explain in detail, the expansive venue options available in patent cases are consistent with historical trends in venue law more generally.  For over a century, Congress has steadily expanded plaintiffs’ venue choices, particularly in cases against corporations.  In fact, the Wright and Miller treatise has gone so far as to say that Congress has “nearly eliminate[d] venue as a separate restriction in cases against corporations.”  Venue in patent cases, simply put, is just like venue in other federal cases.

In the article, we also explain why the Federal Circuit’s interpretation of the venue statute is doctrinally sound.  Though the relevant statutes are somewhat complicated and have been amended several times, our defense of the Federal Circuit’s venue law is simple.  It is based on the plain language of two sections of the Judicial Code:  28 U.S.C. §§ 1391(c) and 1400(b).  Section 1391(c)(2), a subsection of the general venue statute, says that, “[f]or all venue purposes,” corporate defendants “reside” in any district in which they are subject to personal jurisdiction.  Section 1400(b), a venue statute specifically for patent infringement cases, says that infringement suits may be brought, among other places, “where the defendant resides.”  Reading the two statutes together, a corporation can be sued for patent infringement in any district in which it is subject to personal jurisdiction—just like in all other types of federal cases.  That is precisely what the Federal Circuit held in its seminal 1990 decision, VE Holding Corp. v. Johnson Gas Appliance Co.

Of course, there’s more law on this issue than the statutes alone.  The petitioner in TC Heartland argues that the question presented is “precisely the same” as in Fourco Glass Co. v. Transmirra Products Corp., a 1957 decision in which the Supreme Court held that the general venue statute—as it read at the time—did not supplement the patent venue statute.  The Court in Fourco relied heavily on its 1942 decision, Stonite Products Co. v. Melvin Lloyd Co., in which the Court interpreted an even older version of the venue statute and held that, in patent infringement cases, a defendant “resided” only in the state in which it was incorporated.

The petitioner in TC Heartland, building on the theme of “patent exceptionalism” that has resonated with the Supreme Court in recent years, claims that the Federal Circuit has ignored this authoritative Supreme Court precedent.  As we explain in the article, however, even if the Supreme Court decided Fourco correctly (which is not beyond doubt), the general venue statute today is far different than it was at the time of Fourco.  Recent amendments to the statute make plain that the definition of corporate residence in the general venue statute does in fact apply to the patent venue statute.

To be sure, as a matter of policy, granting plaintiffs unbridled discretion over choice of forum in patent litigation may be problematic.  It has incentivized judges, particularly in East Texas, to adopt rules and practices favorable to patent holders in an effort to attract cases.  It has encouraged litigants to engage in unseemly tactics to influence prospective jurors. Ultimately, discretion in forum choice can threaten innovation by facilitating nuisance litigation.  But, contrary to the prevailing wisdom, these problems are emphatically not the result of a misinterpretation of the venue statute by the Federal Circuit, nor does Federal Circuit venue doctrine reflect any sort of patent exceptionalism.

There are better ways to reform the law of forum selection in patent cases.  Congress could amend the venue statute.  Or it could reduce the incentive for litigants to forum shop—and the ability of district judges to “forum sell”—by mandating increased procedural uniformity in patent cases.  Or the Supreme Court could alter personal jurisdiction doctrine, which, for corporate defendants, is tightly linked to venue.  Later this Term, the Court will decide a personal jurisdiction case that could have major consequences for patent litigation.

For a more detailed explanation of these points, read our draft article, which is forthcoming in a terrific symposium issue of the American University Law Review.

Megan La Belle is Associate Professor of Law at Catholic University of America.
Paul Gugliuzza is Associate Professor of Law at Boston University School of Law. 

106 thoughts on “In Defense of the Federal Circuit: TC Heartland and Patent Venue

  1. >>An Oxford University study supports Elon Musk’s point. In their research, about 47 percent of American jobs are at risk of being automated by robots in the next two decades, as reported by Eye Witness News.

    So, most of this progress is in information processing methods and machines. And, yet, somehow, these are abstract and not worthy of patents according to the Fed. Cir. judges purchased by Google.

    Please. Purge time.

    1. So, most of this progress is in information processing methods and machines. And, yet, somehow, these are abstract and not worthy of patents according to the Fed. Cir. judges purchased by Google.

      Information processing methods and machines are not equivalent unless you define an information processing machine in terms of it being configured to perform an information processing method.

      In any case, patentability decisions are not based on a worth assessment, so why does value matter? Moreover, assuming value should be a consideration, it isn’t clear why Google’s purchase decisions and the ability to replace labor should be the metric. One could also consider the positive or negative economic effects across the entire economy with information processing patents and without them.

      1. Those are some god points…

        …for Congress to consider.

        Until they do though, the proper treatment of 101 in that two items are required there (fit at least one of the statutory categories, and be of the proper utility, i.e., not be of the Fine Arts) should be adhered to.

      2. NS II: Of course the value of the machine to the economy is an issue. Plus, this is such nonsense the mixing up of methods and machines. What is very clear is just like a tractor is a replacement for our physical labor that these information processing machines are a replacement for our mental labor (brain).

        I am talking about the purchase of the judges by Google. Google clearly picked the judges for the Fed. Cir. and picked science illiterate anti-patent judges (by and large.)

        You largely did not address what I wrote.

    2. 47 percent of American jobs are at risk of being automated by robots

      Maybe Preznit Jumpsuit will have time to solve that problem after he’s finishing pulling his hair out in his prison cell.

    3. Just what we need. The few having a legal monopoly on the means of production while the many starve.

      1. Maybe that will prompt you to innovate a different means…

        As is so commonly known that a phrase resides in common lore: Necessity is the mother of invention.

            1. First of all, it will not drive more people to innovate, they have no means to innovate with. Further, assuming that the US remains a representative democracy when the 47 percent of American jobs are automated by robots, any remaining respect of the populus for the patent system will erode as it will be seen as unjust.

              1. You are forgetting the basic concept behind “Necessity is the mother of invention.”

                All else from you has been nothing but “0h n0es” feelings.

                You are welcome to entertain and hold those feelings as your own, but please, do not mistake your feelings as reflective of any reality.

  2. M&Ms>>>We have held that “tailoring of content based on information about the user—such as where the user lives or what time of day the user views the content—is an abstract idea.” …. Here, the claims are directed to selecting and sorting information by user interest or subject matter, a longstanding activity of libraries and other human enterprises.

    This is right out of a witch trial. We have held that something is “abstract”??? There is no meaning to that statement regarding individual elements of a claim.
    Please.
    Impeach.
    These.
    Criminals.
    >

    And nice to see a post that isn’t completely anti-patent. I think Trump should purge the Fed. Cir. He could remove it, and then reform it and select a few of the judges that weren’t selected by Google and actually apply the law.

    1. So we have held that performing functions like our brains perform are abstract and no deserving of patent projection. Our brains are there for some reason that channels into the spirit world where all the real processing takes place and nature is filled with secret formulas that we discover.

      We are the new Fed. Cir. We have crosses and plenty of flammable liquids to take care of the modern day witch–the information processing invention.

      1. Night Writer,

        Which weighs more, a shadow account balance, or a phoneme animation morph factor?

        Which one reflects more infra-red?

        Which one registers higher on the Mohs scale of hardness?

        1. Dobu: really? So, space, time, and energy used to process information aren’t measures?

          I remember in graduate school in engineering/science/math we would refer to a question like yours as one from a bozo.

  3. OT but today’s CAFC decision in Evolutionary Intelligence LOL vs. Sprint might represent the first bona fide attempt to “comply” with the requirement for a written opinion. It’s a short non-precedential opinion affirming the tanking under 101 of some ridiculous junk … but it’s a start.

    We have held that “tailoring of content based on information about the user—such as where the user lives or what time of day the user views the content—is an abstract idea.” …. Here, the claims are directed to selecting and sorting information by user interest or subject matter, a longstanding activity of libraries and other human enterprises.

    EI does not dispute that merely using a computer is not enough. Moreover, EI conceded that “containers,” “registers,” and “gateways” are “conventional and routine” structures. See Decision, 137 F. Supp. 3d at 1167. Whether analyzed individually or as an ordered combination, the claims recite those conventional elements at too high a level of generality to constitute an inventive concept.

    Note that this last bolded passage can be translated directly into the following: if your claim recites some non-obvious structure in objective structural terms, then you have an inventive concept and an eligible claim. If your claim recites some old components strung together in a manner that’s been done a zillion times before (and, yes, that includes multiple servers “distributed” in space) then you’ve got nothing and deserve nothing.

    None of this should be “confusing” or “unclear” to reasonable adults capable of basic reasoning. And none of it is, in fact. But some people insist on pretending otherwise. Good riddance to this junk and congrats to the defense team (at least 8 diverse companies were sued by the tr0 ll) for putting it to bed relatively quickly and without fuss.

    1. Lovely B$ (don’t strain yourself patting your own shoulder – or kissing your own _$$):

      Note that this last bolded passage can be translated directly into the following: if your claim recites some non-obvious structure in objective structural terms

      Your penchant for trying to elevate an optional claim form into something more than merely optional does not in fact reach your “dream state” of being anything other than
      .
      .
      .
      Wait for it
      .
      .
      .
      .

      Wait
      .
      .
      .
      .
      Merely optional.

      1. Should the plaintiff be sanctioned in this case? It seems like they should be sanctioned.

        I wonder where they got the idea that they could win? Probably from some blog run by a bunch of driveling trumpists who are looking at a mountain of malpractice.

          1. You now want to sanction people who may feel differently about your optional claim formatting…?How very Trump of you.

            Deep, deep, deep stuff! Next time you jump the shark from that incredible height, please remember to pull your head out of your behind. You can probably see the Great Wall.

            Meanwhile, narcissistic personality disorder is a real thing and I’ll remind you again: the doctor is just a phone call away. Probably a good time for you to do something about it.

        1. Sanctioned? Please. Trump. Purge the Fed. Cir. Purge time. All you have to do is disband it. Retire the Google and the witch inquisitors and reform it and you can nominate the few good judges back on the Fed. Cir.

          Come on guys. Let’s get a Super PAC together to push for this.

          M&Ms you are so unethical. You know that things you say are against science. You know that. That makes you an unethical liar.

    2. Ohhh lookey, once again, its abstract because it is old”

      “is an abstract idea.” …. Here, the claims are directed to selecting and sorting information by user interest or subject matter, a longstanding activity of libraries and other human enterprises.”

      If that’s not what they mean, then why mention that its been done before at all, let alone assert that it is longstanding activity.

      1. No, arranging information according to some criteria applied to the “content” of the information is “an abstraction” because “information content” is itself a structureless abstraction.

        Put another way, 0101010001010100100100100011010010101011111000101010010001001110001010101111111010100101010011110100100111111

        Let me know if you need me to translate that for you. I could put this way to: 02302A. Oh, lookie! Data compression! S00per techno.

        It’s 2017 and patent attorneys on the Internets are still defending junk claims like this? Wow.

        1. It is not structureless. It can be converted back and forth between binary and hexadecimal. In order to do that, indeed in order to covey meaning, there must be structure to the information.

          .._. .._

          1. “there must be structure”

            That’s using the word “structure” in a different way to mean a different thing than the “structure” that is required. Which has been explained to you a thousand times now Les. Merely playing with words doesn’t magically make a claim eligible.

            1. different thing than the “structure” that is required

              6, note that two play at that “different thing than the “structure” that is required‘ game – specifically, Malcolm plays at the “objective physical structure” at some “Point of Novelty” to make a claim eligible, when BOTH the “Point of Novelty” for eligibility is a fallacy AND “objective physical structure” – as he would have it – remains merely a claim form option.

                1. You miss the point – obviously – a thousand times.

                  There is no such thing as “rescue” if what you are doing is (attempting to) elevating an optional claim format into a required claim format.

                  That is not “rescuing” – that is getting the law wrong.

                2. You always have the option of committing malpractice, “anon.” After all, once you’ve got the money in the bank, then the client has to go through a lot of trouble to get it back from you. Sure, maybe it was an even better deal before your insurance company pulled the plug on you after the mailroom debacle. But we get it. Embrace the “option”! Grab the cash and run.

                  You’re a very, very serious person.

                3. Malpractice…?

                  For not following your ploy of an option dressed as an actual legal requirement?

                  Are you even an attorney?

                4. “There is no such thing as “rescue” if what you are doing is (attempting to) elevating an optional claim format into a required claim format.”

                  That’s not his “end goal”. Or rather, that isn’t the PTO’s and court’s goals.

                  His end goal is to literally taunt you with a potential out. One which you don’t like. A duhr.

                5. You are so clueless, 6.

                  Taunting with a potential fix…?

                  That’s a laugh. You just don’t get that he is not saying here is one way of fixing an issue.

                  He is saying this is the only way to fix that issue.

                  Wake up son.

                6. “That’s a laugh. You just don’t get that he is not saying here is one way of fixing an issue.

                  He is saying this is the only way to fix that issue.”

                  The fact that there is only one (well two actually, you can further limit your claim to not offend 101, gl with that) is what triggers you and what allows him to pull your chain. A duhr.

                7. Keep on kidding yourself – his optional claim format remains just that:

                  An option.

                  Do you understand what that means?

                  Do you understand why being only an option removes the notion that it just has to be (which IS what Malcolm is pretending here).

                  This is NOT about pulling my chain either 6.

                  He posts this type of claptrap whether or not he is engaging me – he really has convinced himself that this is the ONLY way.

                  Throw in there as well that I have shown that his “objective physical structure” is meaningless for any type of computer innnovation, and both his and your attempts can be seen as what they are:

                  worthless.

                  That’s just the way that it is.

                8. 6,

                  Basically here you are telling the wrong people to:

                  just
                  sh it
                  up.

                  No thanks.

                  This is not a matter of “sOmeone is wrong – this is a matter that the sAme one is wrong – and purposefully trying to propagandize the law into something it is not.

                  Ever hear the phrase: repeat a L I E often enough…

                  Well, if you do not challenge that repetition, than the less sophisticated actually believe the L I E to be the truth (just look at those swallowing Malcolm’s CRP…)

                9. MM > Tells anon to “spe ak”

                  Anon (pupp yd og) > *spe aks*

                  6 > anon it sure is path etic that you speak on command

                  Anon > Don’t tell me to sh ut u p!

                10. “Did the repeat a L I E often enough item just go over your head?”

                  Anon, there’s a difference between one man “repeating a lie often enough” and in a whole society, or an entire media complex (like the mainstream US media) repeating a lie often enough. And the later is what the phrase refers to. Not just some random yahoo spouting off a million times.

                  There was a guy known as “the bush is hitler guy” who repeated that phrase a gazillion times back in the day, it didn’t make it so.

        2. MM you are such a joke. Why do you write using English? Why not just generate random strings ? They all fill the box of the comment. Gee, that is just like your argument about information that is being processed.

    3. he law right now is if there’s an abstract idea, there better be an “inventive concept” identifiable in the claims and with support in the specification to save the claim. I have to go back through the decisions but anecdotally I don’t think there’s been much help here, the court focusing on putting boundaries on “directed to” as opposed to “inventive concept.” The only one I can dig up in my 386 brain is that equipment used to automate some reasonably described process will survive if there’s a problem to be solved and no evidence that the abstract idea is an old one. If it is an old abstract idea, my buffer is overrun and I’m coming up with g a r b a g e.

      1. equipment used to automate some reasonably described process will survive if there’s a problem to be solved and no evidence that the abstract idea is an old one

        “May” survive is more like it. And the answer is almost 100% dependent on how good the defense lawyers are and how lucky the patentee is. That’s not to say that the analysis is “confusing” or the results are “difficult to predict.” It’s just a fact that plaintiffs who are desperate to kick up dust may draw a judge and a CAFC panel willing to eat that dust up like they were born last week and it’s the dust of the world’s greatest ever tasting cookie.

        Here’s a fact to keep in mind: at the level of information “processing” logic, there is very, very, very, very little that is “new” under the sun and that was true 2000 years ago. Now, if you want to lay some “abstraction” on top of the data and dance on a pin while reciting a mantra about “the essence of electronic structure”, you’re perfectly welcome to do that. At least at the CAFC. The Supreme Court is a whole other question. Notably, the Supreme Court has yet to convince itself that its sole purpose for existing is to make sure the wealthy entitled patent attorney and “do it on a computer” venture class of S0oper D00per Important People are being supplied with enough juicy quail meat.

        Note: when I say “you” I’m not referring to “you” personally. I’m referring to anybody who wants to play the game.

        1. Notably, the Supreme Court has yet to convince itself that its sole purpose for existing is to make sure the wealthy entitled patent attorney and “do it on a computer” venture class

          Your cl@ss w@rfare meme (and the feelings associated with it) are noted.

          1. Remember, folks: according to anon, the worst thing ever is “political correctness.”

            But he’s totally not a whiny baby hypocrite! Nope. Not him.

            1. according to anon, the worst thing ever

              Second time in short order you have spouted that absolute L I E.

              You really should pay better attention.

              Nonetheless, even as noxious as that line of PC goes, there is ZERO about my stance on PC and whatever it is that you are trying to draw a conclusion of “hypocrite” to.

              Maybe try something different Malcolm – your pure ad hominem simply isn’t working for you.

              1. Second time in short order you have spouted that absolute L I E.

                Oh, so now “PC isn’t the worst thing ever”? It’s maybe second from the bottom after “raising taxes”?

                LOL

                whatever it is that you are trying to draw a conclusion of “hypocrite” to

                Because it’s really confusing! Double LOL

                1. so now…

                  You do realize that I NEVER said it was the worst thing ever, right?

                  Classic Malcolm and the classic case of you telling L I E S so often that you can no longer even remember what truth looks like.

                  S_cks to be you.

    4. From the specification of the 7,010,536 patent, in the description of the preferred embodiment.

      “A container 100 at minimum encapsulates a single digital bit, a single natural number or the logical description of another container, and at maximum all defined cyberspace, existing, growing and to be discovered, including but not limited to all containers, defined and to be defined in cyberspace. A container 100 contains the code to enable it to interact with the components enumerated in 2A, and to reconstruct itself internally and manage itself on the network 201.”

      Question: consider the container that encapsulates all containers, and only those containers, that do not encapsulate themselves. Does this container encapsulate itself?

    5. >>“tailoring of content based on information about the user—such as where the user lives or what time of day the user views the content—is an abstract idea.”

      This is a statement that shames the world and our country. It is right out of the medieval period in the cognitive models used to reason about the world.

      Unbelievable. Please fire these judges Trump. Just disband and then reform the Fed. Cir. You could do it with two bills so that in an hour we could through with these inquisitors. Purge the Fed. Cir. Purge time.

      1. >>“tailoring of content based on information about the user—such as where the user lives or what time of day the user views the content—is an abstract idea.”

        This is a statement that shames the world and our country.

        ROTFLMAO

        Meet the patent maximalists. They’re very serious people! They’ve really got their priorities in order.

        1. Priorities…

          This IS (supposedly) a patent law blog.

          I know that you have tremendous difficulty with that.

          Please take my suggestion and get into a line of work in which you can believe in the work product produced. The cognitive dissonance is palpable.

  4. LaBelle: To be sure, as a matter of policy, granting plaintiffs unbridled discretion over choice of forum in patent litigation may be problematic. It has incentivized judges, particularly in East Texas, to adopt rules and practices favorable to patent holders in an effort to attract cases. It has encouraged litigants to engage in unseemly tactics to influence prospective jurors. Ultimately, discretion in forum choice can threaten innovation by facilitating nuisance litigation.

    Just for the record: all of these irrefutable propositions were p00-p00ed by the maximalists who insisted that it was just “copyists” being crybabies. For literally years if you brought up these basic facts about the b@nana republic of East Texas, you’d be smeared as an “anti-property” “communist” by these wonderful patent worshippers — and lo and behold they continue to cheerlead for their very special coddling venues and weep and cry about their junk patents being devalued.

    There are better ways to reform the law of forum selection in patent cases. Congress … could reduce the incentive for litigants to forum shop—and the ability of district judges to “forum sell”—by mandating increased procedural uniformity in patent cases.

    There’s nothing intrinsically “better” about this solution. Congress should absolutely reduce the incentive for litigants to forum shop and forum sell by mandating increased procedural uniformity. That should happen in addition to the Supreme Court’s correcting of the CAFCs expansive interpretation of the venue statute.

      1. Alas, the Supreme Court, i their p1ss1ng match with the CAFC keep on pushing for MORE “discretion” at the lower levels – the very opposite of what you feel as needed.

  5. The article indicates that the present “venue in patent cases, simply put, is just like venue in other federal cases.”
    So the interesting and relevant question is, what OTHER civil torts cases have ever so massively accumulated in one single district court [out of hundreds] as patent cases have? Why not, if there is no difference?

    1. The (better) underlying question though Paul, remains:

      Is any such aggregation against any sense of the proper discretion of the courts so affected?

      If not, then the reason for the agggregarion is nothing more than a conversation piece (and quite possibly an improper agitation factor)

      On the other hand. If the actions are not within the proper discretion of the court, then your “problem” is clearly identified and your solution becomes self-evident.

      Funny though how that reasonable avenue does not seem too interesting to any of these (vocal) pundits, eh?

          1. Paul very deftly obliterated a false statement made by the authors by pointing out a glaring fact.

            Your response was to immediately attempt to change the subject.

            Nice try, “anon.”

            1. I was not “changing the subject” nor was I challenging any facts or “obliterating of facts.”

              Your self-appointed role of Watcher Over the Fields of Rye has warped your ability to understand an additional point being added to the conversation.

              1. I was not … challenging any facts

                I never said that you were. There’s nothing to challenge because … facts.

                I was not “changing the subject”

                LOL Try to believe it, folks.

                1. The better question Malcolm is directly on the same topic, thus no change in topic.

                  You really do have some difficulties with anything off of your script, don’t you?

    2. N.D. Cal has become a hotbed for food labeling class actions cases; but even then, it’s nowhere near the same extent as patent cases.

    3. The answer to your question is yes, Paul.

      Other civil cases have massively accumulated in single districts, such as asbestos cases in Madison County, Illinois. They accumulated there because, just like in the E.D. Texas, the defendants were railroaded, attracting plaintiffs.

      This will give you a taste of what went on in Madison County:

      “[T]he judge to which all asbestos cases were assigned, Nicholas Byron,
      implemented a system that made a fair trial almost impossible. The court routinely denied pre-trial dispositive motions, often without troubling to receive a written opposition from the plaintiffs. It refused to require plaintiffs either to plead or to provide in discovery information necessary for the defense of the case. While failing to enforce plaintiffs’ discovery obligations in any meaningful way, it very readily limited the defense of the case for technical discovery violations. The sheer number of major cases set for trial–in 2003, more mesothelioma cases were set for trial in Madison County than in New York City – and the speed with which cases got to trial overwhelmed the ability of defendants to prepare each case. Also, the court frequently set several cases for trial on the same day, allowing the
      plaintiffs’ attorney to select the one that would proceed. The defendants could not prepare for every case and were not willing to bet on picking out the one that would go to trial. All of this led to one conclusion: cases in Madison County simply had to be settled, no matter what the cost.”

      Here’s a link to the article:

      link to law.umich.edu

  6. Good of the authors to remind us of the 61-professors brief. It’s fairly typical of the topside amicus briefs, and worth a read. It repeats a well-rehearsed narrative, is generous with its labels (“forum selling,” “patent trolling”), provides an opportunity to cite their own work, and offers zero added value. And it’s genuinely unconcerned with the consequences of TC Heartland’s proposition. They really don’t care where the cases go, as long as it’s not Texas. Do they really want us to return to pre-1990 patent venue? What was so great about that? I totally understand the gripe about the E.D. Tex, but can we stop and think for a moment please?

    1. It reflects an Ends justify the Means mindset that is seen FAR too often in patent law commenting (both on blogs and in submissions to the courts from “friends”).

      1. Because “anon” is all about “the means”! Sure he is.

        He’s very serious and totally not a hypocrite. He’s the One Pure Unbiased Commenter.

        Bow down everybody.

          1. Dear “anon”,

            When your child* is murdered by an admittedly ment@lly incompetent shooter who legally bought his gun because your Constitution-clutching freepers in Congress like it that way, I hope you will stand up and immediately make an inspiring speech about the importance of an ins@nely expansive Second Amendment! Yay! Because that’s what your kid would surely have wanted you to do. I mean, it only makes sense, right?

            Also, thank you again for your wonderful “protest vote.” Very meaningful! Deep, deep stuff. Incredibly effective. Made a huge difference.

            *of course I’m kidding; you’d have to find a partner to have a child and that’s impossible for a perfect person like you

              1. Yes, it does.

                You and your supposedly “freed u m luvving” c0horts endlessly pop off about your s00per d00per serious concerns about “Constitutionality”. Half the time you have no idea what you’re talking about and the other half of the time you’re just reciting some stale rightwing script. And then you pretend that — unlike everybody else! — you’re the truly “pure” ones who aren’t engaging in bad ol’ “politics.” It was tiresome a long time ago. Give it a rest already.

                1. Except for the fact that you are completely wrong and are engaging in your (alarmingly typical) “One Bucket” thing, you might just have the tiniest sliver of a possibility of a shard of a dream of being right.

                  As it is, well, you are simply and as woefully wrong as ever.

                  Maybe you would do better if you kept your focus on the by-line of this blog. It’s around here somewhere….

  7. I agree with the post.

    Corporations are treated differently from individuals, with their venue gradually being increased. Certainly there is nothing unfair to treat venue in patent cases the same as in every other case when corporations are involved.

    Also, the patent venue statute does not apply to foreign corporations. They can be haled into court anywhere consistent with due process.

    5-4 in favor of the Federal Circuit here.

    1. Patent litigation is different. The vast majority of federal civil litigation with exotic venue (away from the actual home of both litigants) is an individual or small business or big company suing a big company.

      Patent litigation is mostly big wealthy companies suing small businesses. That’s not a good situation for exotic venue.

      1. Patent litigation is different.

        The Supreme Court (vis a vis eBay) takes an opposite stance.

        Further, if your “Patent litigation is mostly big wealthy companies suing small businesses. ” were actually true, you would not see those same Big Corp (the efficient infringer group) rallying behind this change.

        No, Owen, the situation is actually quite opposite of what you post.

  8. Maybe add a little balance with the “forum shopping” (or forum-creating) for the infringer-side, and not just emphasize the “forum shopping” that favors a pro-patentee…

    (just a thought to help reach a semblance of objectivity in your academic paper…)

    1. I’d like to know if any studies were made of the statistical outcomes of cases where the venue is:

      1. The home town/city of the plaintiff corporation

      2. The home town/city of the defendant corporation

      3. A place being the home town/city of neither plaintiff nor defendant.

      The above I think would be a way to measure of systemic bias (if any) of community pecuniary interest in the outcome of case.

      I’d also be interested in any tiny effects of socio-economic and political bias by venue:

      a. A study of cases where one party is a high tech corporation (employing engineers, scientists, and professionals), and the results by whether the venue is rural/industrial versus urban/white collar/commercial.

      b. A study of cases where one party is an industrial or resource centric corporation (employing mostly physical laborers), and the results by whether the venue is rural/industrial versus urban/white collar/commercial.

      b. A study of cases which deal with individual rights, in particular dealing with property, and the results by venue in locales where public sentiment leans toward freedom, capitalism, and individual rights versus regions where people tend toward Statism, socialism, collectivism.

      Follow-up Survey: leaving aside a number of particular university campuses, where IS most Statist, socialist, communist place (town, city, state) in the US?

      1. A study of cases which deal with individual rights, in particular dealing with property, and the results by venue in locales where public sentiment leans toward freedom, capitalism, and individual rights versus regions where people tend toward Statism, socialism, collectivism.

        ROTLMAO

        How can you write this and not realize that you sound like a 14 year old clutching a DNA-stained copy of Atlas Shrugged?

              1. Nothing “frightening” about wanting to know where the vir@l st 00pity infecting the patnet bar is incubated.

                I mean, the Federalist Society is a big source of the bullcr@p. We’ve known that for years. But I’m guessing anony has some “special” places that he goes to where the discussions are even more “serious.” Pillow talk. You know what I mean.

            1. “Where do you hang out where that kind of silliness isn’t laughed at outright?”

              It’s this new place called Merica. It exists in every part of America except libta rd enclaves.

        1. You are clearly thinking of your copy of Mao’s Little Red Book.

          “The ruthless economic exploitation and
          political oppression of the peasants by the
          landlord class forced them into numerous
          uprisings against its rule”

          link to marx2mao.com

      2. leaving aside a number of particular university campuses

        LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

        where IS most Statist, socialist, communist place (town, city, state) in the US?

        LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

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