Letter to Congress from 28 Law Professors & Economists Urging Caution on the VENUE Act
6 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2016
Date Written: August 1, 2016
In this letter to Congress, 28 law professors, economists, and political scientists express serious concerns about the recent push for sweeping changes to patent litigation venue rules, such as those proposed in the VENUE Act.
Although proponents for the VENUE Act argue that the concentration of patent cases in a few federal district courts is bad for the patent system, this letter explains that the VENUE Act does not solve this problem. Studies show that restrictions on venue similar to those in the VENUE Act would only shift this concentration from the Eastern District of Texas to a couple other judicial districts -- the District of Delaware and the Northern District of California. These two other districts are recognized as more friendly to defendants, such as the high-tech companies and retailers lobbying heavily for the VENUE Act. Congress also should be wary of acting, because the rates and patterns in patent litigation are very fluid. For example, the percentage of patent lawsuits filed in the Eastern District of Texas relative to other districts is now declining substantially.
For these reasons, among others detailed in the letter, Congress should at least adopt a wait-and-see approach on legislation like the VENUE Act. In the very least, until the patent-weakening effects of the America Invents Act's new PTAB proceedings and recent Supreme Court decisions are better understood, Congress should be reluctant to enact legislation that will further weaken patent rights and potentially harm the innovation economy.
Keywords: VENUE Act, jurisdiction, Rodney Gilstrap, Roy Payne, Robert Schroeder, Marshall, ED Texas, patent reform, patent litigation explosion, TC Heartland
JEL Classification: K41, O3, O31
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation