TC Heartland: A View from the (Supreme) Courtroom

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TC Heartland: A View from the (Supreme) Courtroom


Having led the team that filed an amicus curiae brief for 48 Internet companies, retailers, and associations in support of TC Heartland, Peter Brann attended the oral argument in TC Heartland v. Kraft at the Supreme Court yesterday. Though not a disinterested observer, he offers these thoughts on what he saw:

Although the venue question presented by this case is one that everyone in the patent world has been talking about breathlessly for several years, apparently, not everyone is as excited about patent venue as we are. Most of the lawyers in the audience attending the argument were there for the first case instead–an ERISA case no less, so that tells you the level of enthusiasm. After TC Heartland was called, the Justices were not as engaged as they usually are. Both sides were given a chance to make their arguments for relatively long periods of time without interruption. One or two Justices appeared to be leaning one way or the other, but there was scarcely any sign of an emerging consensus. Any result — affirmance, reversal, or re–argument when the Court gets a ninth Justice— is possible, so stay tuned.

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