Judge Bounces Quarterhill Cases out of Virginia After TC Heartland, Ruled an Intervening Change in the Law

September 1, 2017

Cases filed by Smart Wearable Technologies Inc. (SWTI), a subsidiary of publicly traded Quarterhill Inc. (f/k/a Wi-LAN Inc.), against Fitbit (5:17-cv-05068) and TomTom (1:17-cv-11652) have been opened in the Northern District of California and the District of Massachusetts, respectively. Both were transferred out of the Western District of Virginia where they were originally brought, along with cases against six other defendants, and where the court ruled that venue was improper under the US Supreme Court’s TC Heartland decision. In granting the transfers, the court denied SWTI’s argument that the defendants waived the right to contest venue by failing to plead improper venue as an affirmative defense, ruling that TC Heartland presented a significant change in the law, allowing defendants “for the first time in three decades” to “successfully argue that venue is improper in a district where it is subject to personal jurisdiction but is not incorporated and has no regular and established place of business”.

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