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Delaware Outstrips Texas as Top Patent Hotspot of 2018


In the first full year after the U.S. Supreme Court restricted where patent suits can be filed, the District of Delaware became the go-to court for many plaintiffs and the Eastern District of Texas remained an appealing forum, though it is no longer the patent behemoth it once was, new data shows.


"Those things are probably what's keeping the Eastern District of Texas afloat," said S. Gregory Herrman of Blank Rome LLP. He noted that, "like most people when the TC Heartland decision came out, I thought it would eliminate the Eastern District of Texas as a factor," but the remaining paths to venue have meant that has not been the case.


Attorneys said they expect the filing trends that have developed over the 18 months or so since TC Heartland to continue going forward, with the number of Eastern District of Texas cases possibly dropping further if future Federal Circuit rulings on venue tighten the standards and make it harder to file there.

"I think defendants are still trying to come up with creative ways to get out of the Eastern District of Texas," Herrman said. If those efforts are successful, "maybe we'll see the Eastern District of Texas numbers go down even more because of that."

"Delaware Outstrips Texas as Top Patent Hotspot of 2018," by Ryan Davis was published in Law360 on January 31, 2019.