The United States Supreme Court recently clarified how the patent venue statute applies when a patent infringement lawsuit is brought against a domestic (U.S.) corporation.  The case, TC Heartland, LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands, LLC, No. 16-341 (decided May 22, 2017), involved a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Kraft Foods Group Brands, LLC (“Kraft”), a Delaware corporation, against a competitor, TC Heartland, LLC (“Heartland”), an Indiana corporation.  Kraft filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware and Heartland sought, unsuccessfully, to transfer venue to a district court in Indiana. 
The Supreme Court reversed the lower courts’ findings that Heartland “resided” in Delaware for purposes of the patent venue statute and held that a domestic corporation “resides” only in its state of incorporation.  The Court found that an Indiana district court was the proper venue because Heartland was an Indiana corporation and it did not have a regular and established place of business in Delaware. This decision is expected to protect corporations from having to defend patent suits in faraway venues while also decreasing the number of states and courts in which many patent holders can sue for infringement.
Our attorneys have extensive experience in litigating intellectual property matters and regularly counsel clients on intellectual property portfolio development and protection, product and product-line development, branding, licensing, merchandising, advertising and marketing. To request more information concerning the protection or enforcement of your intellectual property rights in the firearms industry, or for assistance with your intellectual property litigation, contact John Renzulli and Michael Patrick.