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

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. 

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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