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Patent Venue Transfer from W.D. Tex. to N.D. Cal.

Posted by James Juo | Oct 06, 2023 | 0 Comments

Patent venue is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b), which provides: “Any civil action for patent infringement may be brought in the judicial district where; the defendant resides, or where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business.”

The Supreme Court has held “that a domestic corporation ‘resides' only in its State of incorporation for purposes of the patent venue statute.” TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Grp. Brands LLC, 581 U.S. 258, 262 (2017).

Absent residency, venue under § 1400(b) requires “a physical place in the district” that is “a regular and established place of business” of the defendant. See ZTE, 890 F.3d at 1014 (citation omitted). Courts consider several, non-exclusive factors, including “whether the defendant owns or leases the place, or exercises other attributes of possession or control over the place,” and “whether the defendant lists the alleged place of business on a website, or in a telephone or other directory; or places its name on a sign associated with or on the building itself.” Id. at 1015 (quoting In re Cray Inc., 871 F.3d 1355, 1363-64 (Fed. Cir. 2017)).

Patent Venue

In Adnexus Inc. LLC v. LinkedIn Corp., No. 6:23-cv-00151 (W.D. Tex. Oct. 3, 2023), the Court found:

            Through multiple declarations, Defendant has proffered evidence that it neither resides nor has any place of business in the Western District of Texas. Plaintiff has proffered nothing to the contrary. . . . [Plaintiff] instead relies on an address of Defendant's parent company. But per a proffered declaration, Defendant lacks any control over operations, management, finances, or other aspect of its parent corporation. And, according to the same declaration, Defendant and its parent company do not share the same team of executives; they each observe all corporate formalities; Defendant has no offices in Texas; and Defendant does not own, operate, or control any business, office, warehouse, store, or real estate in this District. Furthermore, although Defendant has some employees working remotely in Texas, none are in the Western District, and Defendant, moreover, does not own or lease any of their homes, reimburse them for housing costs, or require them to store inventory, promotional materials, or any other equipment in their homes.

Because Plaintiff did not indicate how the Defendant's declarations were inaccurate concerning Defendant's lack of presence in this forum, the Court held that Plaintiff did not carry its burden to show that venue-related discovery is warranted. See Optic153 LLC v. Thorlabs Inc., No. 6:19-CV-00667-ADA, 2020 WL 3403076, at *4 (W.D. Tex. June 19, 2020).

So, the Court transferred the case to the Northern District of California.

The patent attorneys at Thomas P. Howard, LLC enforce patents and defend against infringement in litigation nationwide including in Colorado.

About the Author

James Juo

James Juo is an experienced intellectual property attorney. He has successfully litigated various intellectual property disputes involving patents, trademarks, copyrights, and trade secrets. He also has counseled clients on the scope and validity of patent and trademark rights.


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