Search Team

Search by Last Name
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z

In re HTC Corp.

Mandamus Relief Generally Unavailable from Denial of Motion to Dismiss for Improper Venue

In re HTC Corp., __ F.3d __, (Fed. Cir. May 9, 2018) (PROST, Wallach, Taranto) (D. Del.: Stark) (3 of 5 stars)

Fed Cir denies petition for writ of mandamus relating to claim of improper venue. The district court had denied a motion to dismiss a patent suit for improper venue as to HTC, a Taiwanese corporation. HTC failed to demonstrate that it had no other adequate means of relief. “Unlike a defendant challenging the denial of a § 1404 transfer motion, a defendant aggrieved by the denial of an improper-venue motion has an adequate remedy on appeal from a final judgment.” Op. at 4–5. Specifically, the defendant may appeal from the entry of final judgment. Per Bankers Life, 346 U.S. 379 (1953), that HTC would be required to litigate to finality did not warrant a determination that it lacked adequate means of relief. The opinion notes that while an appeal will typically be a sufficient remedy to address denial of an improper-venue motion, there might be extenuating circumstances in some cases—but no such circumstances are present in this case.

HTC also did not carry its burden to show a clear, indisputable right to mandamus. The opinion describes how Brunette, 406 U.S. 706 (1942), held that aliens were subject to suit in any judicial district, notwithstanding the patent venue statute, 35 U.S.C. § 1400(b). Congress’s 2011 amendments did not modify this approach, and TC Heartland, 137 S. Ct. 1514 (2017), does not alter that conclusion. “[W]hile § 1400(b) governs venue in patent cases, it governs only to displace otherwise-applicable venue standards, not where there are no such standards due to the alien-venue rule.” Op. at 13. HTC also did not demonstrate that this aspect of law was unsettled, as HTC did not identify a single case that has adopted its interpretation.

KEYWORDS: VENUE; PATENT INFRINGEMENT; ALIEN VENUE RULE; MANDAMUS (NO); MOTION TO DISMISS