WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Feb. 6 that he is leading a coalition of 17 states in filing an amicus brief in the Supreme Court over where patent owners can file claims. Paxton’s aiming to curb what he views as abusive claims of patent infringement.


The case in question is TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods Brand Group. The Supreme Court announced it would hear the case sometime this year. Paxton contends the Federal Circuit court wrongly departed from the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the patent-venue statute.

The Federal Circuit ruled that lawsuits need not be filed in the district where the business resides. Therefore, businesses are now “venue shopping,” looking for plaintiff-friendly jurisdiction around the United States, Paxton claims.


“The Federal Circuit’s misinterpretation of the patent venue law undermines public confidence in the judicial system and has, as it was once described, turned the Eastern District of Texas into an intellectual property ‘speed trap,’” Paxton said.

“Patent trolls know full well that the cost of litigating cases there makes it cheaper for many companies to just pay them to go away. That’s why it’s so important for the Supreme Court to reverse the lower court.”


Joining Texas in the amicus brief are Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Vermont, Virginia and Wisconsin.

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