TC Heartland Opens The Door To New Antitrust Claims In Del.

By Adam Hudes and Stephen Medlock (June 2, 2017, 12:17 PM EDT) -- In TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected venue rules that the Federal Circuit had been applying for over 25 years. Relying on its prior decision in Fourco Glass v. Transmirra Products, the Supreme Court held that the proper venue in a patent case is the judicial district where a corporate defendant is incorporated, or where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business. While a great deal has been written about how TC Heartland may give patent defendants a powerful basis to resist venue in magnet jurisdictions, such as the Eastern District of Texas, little has been written about the potential antitrust implications of the ruling. In particular, one of the jurisdictions where an increased number of patent cases are likely to be litigated following TC Heartland, the District of Delaware, has recently decided case law that may make it easier for defendants in patent infringement cases to bring antitrust counterclaims, including against nonpracticing entities....

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