Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Failure to Challenge Venue Prior to TC Heartland Does Not Waive Venue Objection​

Following the Supreme Court decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, No. 16-341 (May 22, 2017), the court granted defendants' motion to modify their pending motion to dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) to add a ground of improper venue and found there was no waiver by failing to raise the issue in their original motion. "[Plaintiff] contends an argument for an improper venue was available to Defendants, and has been since 1957 when the Supreme Court announced [Fourco Glass Co. v. Transmirra Products Corp., 353 U.S. 222 (1957)]. A defendant waives the defense of improper venue if it was available but the defendant omitted it from its responsive pleading or from a motion made before its responsive pleading. . . . TC Heartland abrogated approximately 27 years of patent law precedent. . . . For the first time in 27 years, a defendant may argue credibly that venue is improper in a judicial district where it is subject to a court’s personal jurisdiction but where it is not incorporated and has no regular and established place of business. Defendants could not have reasonably anticipated this sea change, and so did not waive the defense of improper venue by omitting it from their initial pleading and motions."

Westech Aerosol Corporation v. 3M Company et al, 3-17-cv-05067 (WAWD June 21, 2017, Order) (Leighton, USDJ)

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