(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
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.