The Top 10 Trademark Battles That Swept 2017
2. TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC
This year Kraft Foods sued TC Heartland in the District of Delaware, alleging that three of its patents were infringed. TC Heartland does business in Indiana, and has no relevance in terms of business or other to Delaware. However, the products that allegedly infringed patents were shipped into Delaware.
TC Heartland then moved to transfer venue for the dispute to Indiana. The patent venue statute states that venue is appropriate either: (1) “in the judicial district where the defendant resides,” or (2) “where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business.”
TC Heartland cited a previous case, Fourco, to justify that it did not meet either of the above. The Federal Circuit rejected the move to transfer venue, but later the Supreme Court agreed and the meaning of certain provisions, namely 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b): “a domestic corporate defendant may only be sued in its state of incorporation or in a state in which it has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business.”