Until recently, an alleged infringer can be sued in any US state, regardless of the place of the infringement or the domicile of the infringer or the patentee. Since 1990, most of the patent infringement actions (about 40%) are initiated before the Court of Texas which is known to be favorable to the patent holder.
A new decision of the Supreme Court of 22 May modifies this practice, in a way that gets closer to the French law. Indeed, a company can be sued for infringement in one of two States:
– the one where it has its headquarters; or
– the one where it has a secondary office and where the alleged infringement took place.
This should now limit the number of cases handled by the Court of Texas. In contrast, the number of cases before the Court of Delaware should increase significantly where many American companies are domiciled, and in California, where many high-tech sector companies are established.