“Anti-troll” organization Unified Patents has predicted a 69% decrease in patent case filings — or almost 1,000 fewer new cases — in the Eastern District of Texas (ED Texas) following the Supreme Court’s “Heartland” decision to tighten rules for where patent lawsuits can be filed.
However, Unified Patents said this would still make ED Texas the second-most popular venue for patent cases.
In its analysis, Unified Patents also predicted a 230% increase in filings — almost 500 additional new cases — in the District of Delaware (DED), which would make it the largest venue.
It predicted a near 300% increase in cases — almost 300 additional new cases — for the Northern District of California (ND Cal) and sizable increases for Northern District of Texas (ND Tex) and Southern District of New York (SD NY).
The Supreme Court ruled that patent infringement suits can be filed only in courts located in the jurisdiction where the targeted company is incorporated.
The decision could make it harder for so-called patent “trolls” to launch patent cases in “friendly” courts, a trend that has become a major nuisance for big tech companies.
The justices sided 8-0 with Indiana-based beverage flavoring company TC Heartland LLC which argued that a unit of Kraft Heinz should not be allowed to sue it in Delaware.
The ruling is expected by many to reduce the high volume of patent litigation filed in a single federal court district in East Texas because of its reputation for having juries and rules that side with plaintiffs that bring infringement suits.
Roughly 40% of all patent lawsuits are filed in East Texas, and about 90% of those are brought by “patent trolls” according to a study published in a Stanford Law School journal.