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On November 7, 2017 Austin Hansley was interviewed by Law360.com:
"[TC Heartland] took the critical mass of cases centered in the Eastern District of Texas and basically blew it up and shattered it all over the country, with a big chunk landing in Delaware," he said. "There are still some filings in Texas, but it's never going to be what it used to be."
The decision's stricter venue requirements has made it tougher to file patent cases in the Eastern District of Texas, and because many patent holders are filing elsewhere, they are seeking out local counsel in those states, rather than from attorneys in the Eastern District of Texas, according to Hansley.
"We've been really, really slow lately, and from what I can tell, other patent plaintiff practitioners are also pretty slow," he said. "It makes it difficult for a firm to focus primarily on patent cases."
Hansley said he's trying to team up with parties and plaintiffs counsel who are filing suits outside of Texas.
"Practitioners, players and inventors who are privy to the industry know that there is a lot of experience in Texas," he said. "We're used to doing patent litigation in Texas. Sometimes [litigants] will forgo that experience, but they'd be wise not to. If they hire attorneys in Idaho to do a patent case and they aren't used to doing it, they won't be as effective."
Plaintiffs lawyers in the district may be considering shifting their practice to other areas, like real estate or personal injury work, or moving to jurisdictions where patent filings are heating up, but Hansley is still trying to stick with patent litigation and doesn't want to move because his family resides in Texas.
However, he thinks the uncertainty over patent venue law could be good for business. Courts are still wrestling with what it means for a defendant to have a regular and established place of business. And if more plaintiffs must file suits over the same patent against accused infringers in multiple jurisdictions in order to comply with TC Heartland's venue limits, it means several court proceedings will be going on at once and risks inconsistent rulings, such as if courts interpret claims of the same patent differently.
"Lawyers operate in the mess," he said. "If you have black-letter law and everyone knows what it means, you don't need a lawyer. But if there's a new law or it hasn't been interpreted by the courts or something has been amended, changed or supplemented, it will be litigated. It's just more work for attorneys." Source: Law360.com, TC Heartland Won't End EDTX's Influence Over Patent Law,