June 29, 2017

Law360 quotes Megan Woodworth in an article about whether the recent U.S. Supreme Court’s TC Heartland decision changed patent law

2 min

Venable partner Megan Woodworth was quoted in an article in Law360's June 29, 2017 issue regarding whether the recent U.S. Supreme Court's TC Heartland decision restricting where patent suits can be filed changed patent law. According to the article, if the high court's May ruling is found to have changed the law, it would be a boon for defendants seeking to transfer pending patent cases to a different venue. Companies that do not raise a venue argument early in a case are generally deemed to have waived it, but courts recognize an exception to waiver when there has been an "intervening change in the law."

However, some judges have denied transfer motions in recent weeks on the grounds that TC Heartland did not change the law because the high court only reaffirmed longstanding precedent. Other judges have called the ruling a major change that no one could have anticipated.

The approaches judges have taken to the issue so far shows that "it's clear that reasonable people can come to two different outcomes on this issue," said Woodworth. She noted that the judges who have held that TC Heartland didn't change the law nonetheless said that the defendants had at least a reasonable belief that it did.