SIIA Celebrates Supreme Court Patent Win in TC Heartland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PR CONTACT: Farrah Ahamad, (202) 684-3273
SIIA CONTACT: Diane Pinto, (202) 789-4480

SIIA Celebrates Supreme Court Patent Win in TC Heartland

SIIA Had Filed Brief Arguing for the Reversal that the Supreme Court Today Delivered

WASHINGTON, DC (May 22, 2017) – The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal association representing the software and digital content industries, said that today’s Supreme Court decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Food Brands Group LLC is a significant win for innovation, and particularly for technology companies that have faced the burden of patent trolls in the Eastern District of Texas. 

For years, SIIA has been active in fighting abusive patent litigation and in February, the organization filed an amicus brief in support of reversal in the TC Heartland case. 

Chris Mohr, SIIA’s Vice President for Intellectual Property and General Counsel, commented, “This is a huge win for America’s innovators, for technology businesses of all sizes and for consumers. Until now, patent litigation was subject to the most rampant kind of forum shopping. Patent trolls often produce nothing and have no meaningful legal case, but they’ve had success by finding highly favorable judicial districts. As we pointed out in our briefing, 60 percent of suits brought by non-practicing entities were in one judicial district. With its unanimous decision, the Court has said clearly that the abusive practice of patent litigation forum shopping cannot be allowed.”

In an 8-0 decision, the Supreme Court reversed a Federal Circuit decision that permitted patent suits to be brought anywhere the defendant might “reside,” which for national firms meant anywhere in the country.  As a result, one court (the Eastern District of Texas) became the dominant forum for litigation of suits by non-practicing entities.  Writing for a unanimous Court, Justice Thomas held that the Federal Circuit’s definition was wrong, and that the proper definition of reside (at least for domestic corporations) was in the state in which the corporation was formed. 

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About SIIA

The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) is the principal trade association for the software and digital information industries representing software companies, data and analytics firms, information service companies, and digital publishers. Members of the Education Technology Industry Network (ETIN) of SIIA work with K-12 schools and institutions of higher education nationwide to develop and deliver education software applications, digital instructional content, online learning services and related technologies. They are helping to support teachers and instruction, improve student learning, carry out various administrative operations, and improve school productivity and educational performance.