LitigationPatent

How Foreign Patent Infringers Are Subject to Jurisdiction in the United States

The Federal Circuit’s decision in In re HTC Corp., 889 F.3d 1349 (Fed. Cir. 2018), considered whether the TC Heartland decision extended to foreign defendants to afford them the protections of the special patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b). By finding that no such protections existed, the Federal Circuit reaffirmed the longstanding rule that suits against foreign (alien) defendants “are wholly outside the operation of all the federal venue laws, general and special.” HTC, 889 F.3d at 1354 (citing Brunette Machine Works, Ltd. v. Kockum Industries, Inc., 406 U.S. 706, 714 (1972)). While foreign defendants can still try to persuade a district court judge to transfer a case to a new venue on the basis of the parties’ convenience, the venue laws otherwise offer no protection for foreign defendants.

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