Business-Minded Legal Solutions

Venue selection a potentially important issue in patent cases, P.2

We began looking in our last post at some of the factors businesses should take into consideration when selecting a venue for patent infringement claims. As we noted, in some cases, it will be possible to select from multiple venues, and careful thought should be given to venue selection to ensure a plaintiff is best situated for a favorable outcome in the case.

In addition to business reputation and differences in local patent rules, another factor that can impact the outcome of patent infringement litigation is the frequency with which patent cases are tried in a venue and the general approach the district takes to patent issues. A district where patent disputes are frequently heard is likely to have a better handle on the issue at play in such cases, though previous decisions should be studied to determine whether the court’s previous rulings would be helpful or harmful. 

The way a venue handles matters of claim construction and summary judgment is especially important to consider, because these decisions convey the court’s general approach to interpretation of patent language and the likelihood that a court will forego a full trial on a patent dispute, or at least certain issues in a patent dispute. Once these matters are well understood, a venue decision can then be made based on what the plaintiff would like to have happen in the case.

A final consideration we’ll mention here is the amount of time it typically takes between filing and trial. Different venues have different track records on case pendency, and this can be important to know when going into a patent case.

In any patent dispute, of course, working with experienced legal counsel is critical to gathering valuable evidence, building sound legal arguments, and selecting the proper venue in which to proceed with the case. An experienced attorney can also work to ensure that cases that don’t have to go to trial are resolved privately, when appropriate, whether through licensing agreements or some other avenue.