Richards Layton & Finger

Delaware May See an Increase in Patent Cases in Light of Supreme Court Decision in Kraft v. Heartland

May 22, 2017

Today, the United States Supreme Court issued an opinion in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, unanimously reversing and remanding the Federal Circuit’s denial of a petition of writ of mandamus from the District of Delaware’s underlying decision denying a motion to transfer venue. In so holding, the Court held “that a domestic corporation ‘resides’ only in its State of incorporation for purposes of the patent venue statute.” The Court explained that the Federal Circuit authority (on which the District of Delaware relied) was inconsistent with legislative history and Supreme Court precedent and, as such, the Court reversed the Federal Circuit’s opinion. The practical impact of the decision may be an increase in the number of patent cases filed in the District of Delaware.