Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its decision in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods that limits the venue — i.e., geographical location–of where patent cases may be brought.  For decades prior to this decision, venue was construed broadly to be essentially anywhere a defendant has minimum contacts.  By today’s decision, venue is  construed narrowly as limited to where the defendant either (i) is incorporated or (ii) has a regular and established place of business in which the defendant committed acts of infringement.

This ruling may substantially limit the number of patent cases that may be brought in the perceived patent-friendly Eastern District of Texas.  This also may increase the number of patent cases brought in patent-savvy Delaware, because that is where most companies are incorporated.  The decision also may make it harder to sue multiple defendants in a single action, because it may be difficulty to establish proper venue over all defendants.

This decision also takes more wind out of the sales of those seeking legislative changes to U.S. patent law.  Whether rightly or wrongly (we express no view here), the E.D. Texas has been used as an example of patent litigation abuse, venue shopping and the need for patent reform.  This decision may end that concern and follows other court decisions addressing patent litigation issues as well as the FTC’s patent assertion entity study that did not find the widespread patent litigation abuse that had fueled legislative efforts. (see, e.g., our Apr. 29, 2014 post on Supreme Court making it easier to get attorneys fees in patent cases and our Oct. 7, 2016 post on the FTC’s PAE study).
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We previously reported on a scheduling order governing FRAND and damages-related discovery in InterDigital’s two patent infringement lawsuits pending in Delaware against ZTE and Nokia Inc., Nokia Corp. and Microsoft Mobile Oy (MMO), respectively.  On Friday, the court entered a modified, agreed-to scheduling order that extends the time to complete such discovery by approximately seven

Yesterday, a federal jury in Delaware concluded that ZTE’s accused 4G mobile devices did not infringe InterDigital’s U.S. Patent No. 7,941,151 (“the ‘151 Patent”).  This jury verdict comes a little less than six months after a different jury concluded that ZTE’s accused 4G mobile devices infringe three separate patents asserted by InterDigital in the case.

Judge Richard Andrews of the District Court of Delaware dismissed Nokia and ZTE’s amended FRAND counterclaims against InterDigital on Wednesday, ruling that the amended declaratory judgment actions would not serve a useful purpose in the context of the parties’ ongoing litigation. Nokia and ZTE’s FRAND counterclaims involve around 500 patents identified to ETSI as possibly

In the midst of ongoing congressional efforts at patent litigation reform (see Monday’s post for the most recent developments), U.S. District Court Judge Sue Robinson released a new scheduling order on Monday, directed to better managing the hundreds of patent cases before her in the District of Delaware. Resulting from “the lively and informative discussions”

SanDisk brought suit against Round Rock Research in the District of Delaware last week, alleging that the patent assertion entity’s acquisition and enforcement of standard essential patents previously held by Micron Technology has violated federal and state antitrust laws and breached contractual commitments to license the patents on RAND terms. The action, Sandisk Corporation v.

Yesterday Arris filed a declaratory judgment action in D. Del. against Rockstar based on Rockstar asserting alleged standard essential patents (SEPs) against cable operators who purchased Arris equipment (recall our Jan. 21, 2014 post about Rockstar lawsuits with cable operators).  Among other things, Arris seeks a declaration of the essentiality of Rockstar patents, what standard

Yesterday Judge Stark followed an approach used by Judge Holdeman in the Innovatio WiFi case by bifurcating FRAND issues from liability where essentiality and a RAND royalty rate will be tried first in hopes the result will spur settlement, followed by discovery and trial on liability issues if still necessary.  Recall that this case arose

On December 30, 2013, InterDigital and Huawei filed a stipulation to dismiss the pending Delaware district court action (13-cv-00008) without prejudice, indicating the parties entered into a “binding settlement agreement and agreement to arbitrate”.  The Court promptly dismissed the case.

Yesterday, InterDigital and Huawei similarly moved to terminate the corresponding ITC action, Inv. No.

Lest we forget the prevalence of standards in many industries beyond smartphones and Wi-Fi, last Friday (Nov. 1), several radio stations were sued by patent monetization entity Wyncomm in D. Del. for infringing three patents alleged to cover “transmission of radio broadcasts using HD radio techniques further described by the IBOC [In-Band/On-Channel] Digital Radio Standard”