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Patent Reform Provision Already Impacting Litigation Trends

November 15, 2011

November 15, 2011 (Mountain View, CA) – Michael Sacksteder, partner in the Litigation Group of Fenwick & West, was recently quoted in the Daily Journal article "Patent Reform Provision Already Impacting Litigation Trends."

The article explores a portion of the recently enacted patent reform law known as the joinder provision. This provision limits the number of defendants able to be tried in a single case, and many attorneys are already noting an impact on where patent infringement cases are being tried.

The Eastern District of Texas has long been a popular venue for patent cases, but since the America Invents Act was signed into law, this district has seen a drop in the number of cases filed. The District of Delaware has seen a slight uptick in cases.

In the wake of the joinder provision, plaintiffs are forced to sue smaller numbers of defendants at one time, making it easier to argue that the venue be moved closer to the defendants' home base. Therefore, the argument that cases involving a large group of geographically diverse defendants should stay in the plaintiff-friendly Eastern District of Texas is no longer valid.

Michael Sacksteder said, "Now that you have to sue every defendant individually, you have to worry about whether every case could be transferred elsewhere."

Sacksteder went on to say that for plaintiffs who want to control venue, "it makes sense to file a lawsuit in a district where it's hard to get a case transferred."​​