The District of Massachusetts is already among the busier venues for patent litigation, but Boston-based attorneys believe the district offers advantages that could attract even more cases. From science-savvy jurors to hardworking judges, Law360 looks at the factors that make Boston an appealing patent venue.
According to the legal analytics firm Lex Machina, just under 800 patent cases have been filed in the District of Massachusetts since 2007. While that is a far cry from the Eastern District of Texas, which saw over 10,000 patent cases during that time, it’s enough to make Massachusetts the 10th-busiest venue for patent cases among America’s 94 district courts.
A May U.S. Supreme Court decision known as TC Heartland made where an accused infringer is based a more important factor in where patent suits can be filed. As a result, attorneys say the Boston area’s robust life sciences and high tech industries could spur more patent litigation involving those companies in their home district.
“TC Heartland changed the landscape of where cases get filed, so we may see an uptick in filings here,” said Heather Repicky of Boston-based Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP.
If the District of Massachusetts, which primarily encompasses Boston but has a few judges in Worcester and Springfield, does become a more popular patent venue, litigants and attorneys will find much to recommend it, according to those who have litigated in Boston.
“People around here say, ‘Why not us? We’ve got a lot to offer here,’” said Erik Belt of McCarter & English LLP’s Boston office.