The importance of venue in IP litigation

Glenn W. Peterson

When a company is fighting an intellectual property infringement issue, one of the first things established by California courts is the jurisdiction. This is the location in which the court case will be heard. The venue in an IP case can play a significant role in the outcome, which is why it is essential for IP owners to be aware of their rights when a venue is assigned.

According to IP Watchdog, for patent cases, the venue is based on the residence of the defendant. The Supreme Court has heard many cases of this nature and has ruled multiple times that the residence of a business is the location in which is in incorporated. Additionally, the Court has made it clear that a case can only be brought in a court in the location where the defendant resides or in the location where a business has regularly conducted business and has a business locale where the infringement occurred.

The American Bar Association notes trade secret cases may be even more impacted by the choice of venue. The Uniform Trade Secrets Act serves as the main legislation for trade secret management. However, each state has a different take on the UTSA, and it is interpreted in a variety of ways, which can have negative effects on the outcome of a case. Furthermore, some courts in certain venues do not have a lot of IP experience, which also can affect a case. Finally, state law can have an effect on how a trade secret case is conducted.