Supreme Court makes it much harder for patent trolls to sue in East TexasHistoric Harrison County Courthouse, Marshall, Texas. (credit: Joe Mullin)
The US Supreme Court ruled (PDF) today on how to interpret the patent venue laws, and the controversial business of “patent trolling” may never be the same.
In a unanimous decision, the justices held that the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which handles all patent appeals, has been using the wrong standard to decide where a patent lawsuit can be brought. Today’s Supreme Court ruling in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods enforces a more strict standard for where cases can be filed.
It overturns a looser rule that the Federal Circuit has used since 1990.
The ruling may well signal the demise of the Eastern District of Texas as a favorite venue for patent lawsuits, especially those brought by “patent trolls,” which have no business outside of licensing and litigating patents.
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