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ILN Today Post

Supreme Court decision will have big impact on location of patent infringement suits

In a unanimous opinion authored by Justice Clarence Thomas, the Supreme Court determined that a domestic corporate defendant in a patent suit “resides” only in its state of incorporation for purposes of determining the proper venue for suit, overruling a 1990 Federal Circuit decision that had more expansively defined that term.

BACKGROUND

For decades, plaintiffs in patent suits have been permitted to file suit in any jurisdiction where the defendant has made infringing sales – regardless of whether that defendant has an established place of business there. This meant that most defendants could be haled into a patent infringement suit nearly anywhere in the country, which gave plaintiffs a potentially tremendous advantage in forum shopping.

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