On May 22, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Federal Circuit decision that construed federal venue statutes so broadly that many nationwide businesses were subject to suit in virtually any federal district court. The decision marked a victory for WLF, which filed a brief urging the Court to construe the venue statute narrowly. WLF warned that the Federal Circuit’s liberal venue rule—to which it had adhered for more than 25 years—raised serious due-process concerns and encouraged rampant forum shopping by “patent trolls,” entities that file numerous, inappropriate patent-infringement cases. A favorite forum for patent trolls is the plaintiff-friendly U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, where more than 40% of all patent infringement suits were filed in 2015. The Supreme Court agreed with WLF that infringement suits may be filed only in the infringer’s home State or else in a State in which it maintains a regular place of business.
In addition to filing an amicus brief at the merits stage in this case, WLF also filed in support of TC Heartland’s cert petition as well as in support of its appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Those 3 briefs are available below.