In their landmark decision on May 22nd, the Supreme Court decided 8-0 in favor of TC Heartland over Kraft Foods Group, changing the dynamics of patent litigation across the country. In the case itself, Kraft sued TC Heartland, claiming that TC Heartland had infringed on Kraft’s patent for the low-calorie water sweetener, MiO. The Court held that the defendant could only be sued in the state in which it was incorporated. Earlier this week, the House Judiciary Committee’s Subcommittee on Courts and Intellectual Property held a hearing on the impact of the TC Heartland decision, and heard testimony that although the TC Heartland decision is helpful, it is not a panacea for litigation abuse.
Earlier this week, SIIA filed a brief in the U.S. Supreme Court on patent venue, urging it to reverse the Federal Circuit’s interpretation of the existing patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C. 1400(b). Although the argument is a technical one, the resolution of this case has important implications for the technology industry. The misinterpretation of that statute has concentrated patent litigation in a single district that has encouraged the growth of the patent assertion business model.