New Places, New Faces in Patents: 2017 in Review

This year was once again active in terms of patent law and policy. Throughout it all, EFF worked to protect end user and innovator rights. We pushed for a rule that would end the Eastern District of Texas’ unwarranted dominance as a forum for patent litigation. We also defended processes at the Patent Office that give it the opportunity to correct mistakes (many, many mistakes) made in issuing patents. And we fought to prevent new patent owner tactics that would increase consumer costs. New Places First, because of recent developments both at the Supreme Court and at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, this year we finally saw a shift away from the dominance of the Eastern District of Texas as the primary forum for patent litigation. The Supreme Court issued its highly anticipated decision in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods, finding that patent cases are subject to a special statute when determining where they can be filed. This decision reversed a rule,…

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