Knobbe/Martens: Intellectual Property Law

IN RE: BIGCOMMERCE, INC.

By David J. Grant and Benjamin Anger May 15, 2018

Editor: Paul Stewart

Federal Circuit Summaries

Before Reyna, Linn, and Hughes. Petition for Writ of Mandamus from the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

Summary: A corporation incorporated in a state having multiple judicial districts “resides” for purposes of the patent venue statute only in the single judicial district within that state where it maintains a principal place of business, or failing that, the judicial district in which its registered office is located.

Diem and Express Mobile each filed patent infringement suits against BigCommerce in the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.  BigCommerce is incorporated in the State of Texas and lists its registered office as being located in Austin, Texas, where it is also headquartered. Austin lies in the Western District of Texas.  It was undisputed that BigCommerce has no place of business in the Eastern District of Texas.

In light of the Supreme Court’s decision in TC Heartland, which reaffirmed that a domestic defendant corporation “resides” under the patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b), only in its state of incorporation, BigCommerce moved to dismiss Diem’s case and transfer Express Mobile’s case, arguing that it resides only in the Western District of Texas. In both cases, the district court concluded that venue in the Eastern District of Texas was proper, explaining that a domestic corporation incorporated in a state having multiple judicial districts “resides in each such judicial district for venue purposes.”

The Federal Circuit granted BigCommerce’s petitions for Writ of Mandamus and vacated the order denying the motion to dismiss in Diem’s case and the order denying the motion to transfer in Express Mobile’s case. The Federal Circuit noted that different district courts have come to different conclusions about whether a corporation “resides” under § 1400(b) in every judicial district within its state of incorporation when the state has more than one judicial district. The Federal Circuit held, however, that the express language of § 1400(b) indicates that Congress did not intend for residence to include all judicial districts.  Section 1400(b) limits venue in patent cases to “the judicial district where the defendant resides.”  Thus, a domestic corporation incorporated in a state having multiple judicial districts “resides” for purposes of  § 1400(b) only in the single judicial district within that state where it maintains a principal place of business, or failing that, the judicial district in which its registered office is located.

This case is: IN RE: BIGCOMMERCE, INC.

Meet the Knobbe Martens Attorneys

IN RE: BIGCOMMERCE, INC.
David Grant focuses on patent prosecution and patent analysis in the medical device, healthcare information technology, and electronics and semiconductors areas. David graduated ...
IN RE: BIGCOMMERCE, INC.
Ben Anger's practice is primarily focused on patent litigation, with deep experience in pharmaceutical and medical device litigation. Ben also has experience drafting and prosecuting...
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