Skepticism from the Heartland

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Skepticism from the Heartland


Last week we reported on the initial efforts to apply the Supreme Court’s opinion in TC Heartland, with particular interest in what impact that case may end up having on the business of patent litigation in the Eastern District of Texas. As we noted, on first read, TC Heartland seemed to herald the end of the kind of forum–shopping that enabled the Eastern District of Texas to land 40% of all newly filed patent cases. Yet, in Raytheon Co. v. Cray, Inc., 2:15–cv–1554 (E.D. Tex.  June 29, 2017), Judge Gilstrap of the Eastern District came up with a four–part test to rule that the presence of a full–time sales representative in the district established the propriety of venue…suggesting that Texas patent cases will not go quietly into the good night, regardless of what the Supreme Court might have to say.

We chime in today with a brief follow up comment to last week’s post, noting that Law360 is reporting today that members of the House Judiciary Committee have sharply criticized Judge Gilstrap’s opinion and apparent efforts to avoid the impact of the change in law, with one congressman calling the ruling “reprehensible.” It remains to be seen whether Congressional action will follow.

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