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May 22, 2017

Comments

Hey Andrew,

Not saying SCOTUS didn't get TC Heartland right on the law as written, but SCOTUS' ruling was almost predictable-a ruling overturning the Federal Circuit decision and generally disfavoring patent owners.

I've read several blog posts about this and received "updates" from several firms. Several of them mention the impact on multi-district litigation. But the AIA already took some steps toward limiting that, didn't it? The AIA made it more difficult to sue multiple defendants in a single suit. This led to an increase in the number of suits filed, a statistic that some duplicitously pointed as showing a need for further "patent reform". Are you saying the TC Heartland decision will further erode the ability of patentees to sue multiple defendants?

I hope no one on this blog owned stock in Hilton or Westin in Marshall, TX.

While I don't disagree that several SCOTUS holdings are unfavorable to patent owners, TC Heartland will clearly cut down on forum shopping, forcing the patent owner to sue an alleged infringer in a forum where the alleged infringer has something more than minimum contacts. Indeed, many corporations will have several, if not numerous, "regular and establish places of business" throughout the U.S.

Without equal venue, all patent owners hold worthless pieces of paper.

I am an independent inventor, and although I think SCOTUS made the correct decision because of legal precedent, I don't think this is good for inventors at all. We just got thrown under the bus, and this case was largely driven by big business in their attempt to rid of PAEs who exhibit trolling behavior, and forum shop to benefit their cause. What big business needs to realize is that the only reason trolls exist is because they have a value proposition that benefits patent holders.

And the more difficult it becomes for small inventors to enforce their IP rights, the more likely they will cede their IP over to trolls for enforcement. All TC Heartland did was add fuel to that fire. Venue now is clearly in favor of defendants, and small inventors like me do not have the resources to go out of state, nor do contingency attorneys want to take the newly introduced risk. So congratulations trolls. You just picked up some new clientele. If big business doesn't see this, they are stupid.

True congressional venue reform is the only way to solve the problem, and it is the role of Congress to promote innovation. And TC Heartland just put the onus on Congress to enact proper legislation for a balanced venue statute.

As mentioned in the oral arguments, 1400(b) should be amended to include venue in districts at least where inventors did their research or where inventors reside. This will still prevent trolls from venue shopping, merely because trolls do not have inventors listed on the patents they own.

An excellent example of venue reform, and one that will solve the problem that TC Heartland just created, for both defendants and plaintiffs, was a bill introduced in the 114th Congress. It didn't have importance then, but post TC Heartland, it now has utmost importance, as it will preserve innovation.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/senate-bill/2733

It allows patent actions to be brought in judicial districts where:

1- the defendant has its principal place of business or is incorporated; (the same as TC Heartland)
2- the defendant has committed an act of infringement of a patent in suit and has a regular and established physical facility that gives rise to the act of infringement;
3- an inventor named on the patent conducted research or development that led to the application for the patent in suit; or
4- a party has a regular and established physical facility and has managed significant research and development for the invention claimed in the patent, has manufactured a tangible product alleged to embody that invention, or has implemented a manufacturing process for a tangible good in which the process is alleged to embody the invention.

3 and 4 above bring balance to venue by including legitimate inventors, while simultaneously solving the forum shopping problem, thus helping stop trolling behavior.

If you want true reform, rather than a binary SCOTUS ruling that will actually fuel the troll problem, call Senator Flake and ask him to get the bill picked up for the 115th Congress: (202) 224-4521

After thinking about the venue issue, fully considering the history of the different sections and also contemplating the possible remedies in work in Congress, I come to the conclusion that the "Tr011" Kool-Aid has captured the process thoroughly.

We (the royal "we"), are seeking band-aids on a gushing wound.

I "get" that people are alarmed, don't like (for a variety of reasons), or both the concentration of patent cases.

But are we not forgetting that patents are designed to be not just alienable, but fully alienable?

Are we not forgetting that much of the Supreme Court writings in the patent sphere go to obliterating "bright line" rules and creating more flexibility lower in the court system (thereby strengthening the ability of any one regional court to create an environment MORE conducive to patent holders)?

Are we forgetting that if one particular area IS doing something wrong and outside of its rightful flexibility, then the corrective answer is in changing the problem directly?

Would it not then make sense to next turn around and apply that "fix" (whatever that "fix happens to be), universally to all the different areas that that level of court exist?

The "answer" is not yet another layer for venue control, while leaving the causes of why venue is sought in a particular area as they are.

The "answer" is not yet another constraint that works against the "who" owns the fully alienable property, not a constraint as to what ELSE that owner may or may not be doing.

Sorry Mike, but Senate Bill 2733 is just another band-aid.

Senate Bill 2733 is just another layer of (artificial) constraint on the fully alienable aspect that patents have always been meant to have.

Senate Bill 2733 does nothing to solve any underlying "problem."

Senate Bill 2733 thus is part of the problem, as it is not a part of the solution TO any underlying "problem."

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