The Supreme Court’s decision in TC Heartland v Kraft Foods which greatly restricted venue in patent cases has had a tremendous impact. Patent case filings in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas are down a full 74% from the point just before the Supreme Court ruling.
The Supreme Court ruled that venue in patent cases is proper only in a district where the defendant is headquartered or has a significant physical presence. Previously, patent trolls could file suit wherever they pleased and the Eastern District of Texas became popular because several of its judges where notoriously friendly to civil plaintiffs.
The majority of the cases that formerly would have gone to the Eastern District of Texas now must be filed in the District of Delaware, home of many corporations and business, and where the judges are not plaintiff friendly. Other cases are filed in whatever judicial district that happens to be the home turf of the defendant.
Glad to see that patent trolls have been dealt a fierce blow by the Supreme Court decision.