February 07, 2018

Law360 quotes Megan Woodworth on the impact of the TC Heartland ruling on patent complaints filed

2 min

Megan Woodworth was quoted in Law360 on February 7, 2018, about the number of patent complaints filed in the Eastern District of Texas dropping significantly following the U.S. Supreme Court's TC Heartland ruling while Delaware and other venues saw more filings.

Commenting on the precedent being overturned that gave patent owners freedom to file suits in any district and held that companies can only be sued where they are incorporated or have a place of business, Ms. Woodworth said, "I do think we've probably reached some sort of equilibrium sooner than is often the case with a decision of this magnitude." That's in part because many litigants had anticipated a decision like TC Heartland and had begun refining filing strategies even before it came down, she said.

After the court's decision, many observers speculated that the type of plaintiffs that sue many companies at the same time, which make up the bulk of the Eastern District of Texas patent docket, could take several approaches with their new filings. As it turns out, each of those strategies has been used by various plaintiffs, Woodworth said.

The Federal Circuit's post-TC Heartland decisions "certainly didn’t give all the answers," Woodworth said. "District courts will still have a lot of decisions on this issue, and there will be increasing motion practice that is not going to settle down soon."