Delaware patent jurisdiction case headed to U.S. Supreme Court

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Supreme Court building. (Morguefile)
Supreme Court building. (Morguefile)

The Supreme Court will take up the issue of “venue shopping” in patent cases, based on an objection filed in Delaware.

The Wall Street Journal (paywall) reported an Indiana company appealed the case to the high court after Kraft Heinz Foods filed the case in Delaware, a popular venue for such cases.

However, the Journal noted that the state is not alone, citing East Texas as a popular location, accouting for 43 percent of such cases. Delaware accounts for about 9.3 percent of patent cases, Lex Machina reported.

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A related issue has been long-running concerns abou the presence of companies that snap up patents and quickly move to litigation.

The Supreme Court case will be closely watched as limiting to cases to areas where the defendant or defendant is located could lead to suspicions of judges favoring the local company.

By the same token, judges in jurisdictions like Delaware, have broad expertise in the complexities in patent litigation.

Congress has not acted on the venue shopping issue, despite being urged to do so.

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