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Houston Intellectual Property Blog

Supreme Court Ruling Will Impact Where Patent Cases Are Heard

 

Where a patent case is heard can be extremely relevant to the eventual outcome of the case. Traditionally, patent infringement cases could be filed in any federal district court where the defendant conducted business. This enabled plaintiffs to “shop” for the best venue to try their case. A recent Supreme Court Ruling may stop this “forum shopping” maneuver and could dramatically change the way patent infringement cases are pursued.

Supreme Court Ruling Will Have Major Impact On Where Patent Cases Are Heard

Where a patent case is heard can be extremely relevant to the eventual outcome of the case. Traditionally, patent infringement cases could be filed in any federal district court where the defendant conducted business. This enabled plaintiffs to "shop" for the best venue to try their case. A recent Supreme Court Ruling may stop this "forum shopping" maneuver and could dramatically change the way patent infringement cases are pursued.

Favorable Results Have Created Patent Case Hot Spots

The Eastern District of Texas has been a favorite district to bring patent infringement cases for some time due to the fact that cases proceed quickly there and juries there have proven to be open to awarding large sums to patent plaintiffs. The past performance of the courts in that district has attracted an inordinate percentage of all of the patent infringement cases in the United States. More than 25 percent of all patent infringement cases are heard in this district.

Making sure the Defend Trade Secrets Act protects you

As stated in our last blog, the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA) provides employers with a valuable legal tool in the ongoing battle against trade secret misappropriation. When a once-loyal employee walks out the door with your valuable proprietary information, the DTSA allows you to (1) stop the former employee from using your trade secrets (including by seizure of property), (2) obtain monetary damages (including exemplary damages of up to two times the amount of actual damages), and (3) recover attorney's fees. However, there's a preliminary requirement for an employer to have all these remedies available: The employer needs to provide notice of specific DTSA provisions to its employees.

Trade secret protection strengthened by new federal law

In an age of intense business competition, Congress has provided companies with a powerful tool to protect key industry information by passing the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA). With this new tool, employers can enlist the federal courts to deal with employees walking out the door with trade secret information in their pocket. Don't relinquish your valuable information, which may be your most significant competitive advantage, without a fight.

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