Decision Clarifying Patent Venue May Still Spur More Fights

Fenwick litigation partner Charlene Morrow talked to Law360 about the recent Federal Circuit ruling that the presence of Google servers in the Eastern District of Texas district is insufficient to establish venue and requires the presence of a defendant’s employee or agent.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed the Eastern District of Texas’ ruling that venue was proper in In re Google, 2019-126, halting for now the line of precedent finding that servers located on shelves in third-party datacenters within the district constitute a “regular and established place of business” under the patent venue statute.

Morrow told Law360 that as a result of this decision, “clients now know that this relationship, which is obviously a common commercial relationship in the industry, without more, is not going to subject them to lawsuits across the country."

She also noted that plaintiffs have also recently explored other novel tactics to expand venue, such as arguing that all patent cases should still be subject to the broader general venue statute.

The full article is available on Law360 (subscription required). To learn more about this Federal Circuit decision, also read the alert Morrow co-authored with Fenwick associate Catherine McCord.