The Eastern District of Texas’s Take on TC Heartland

In Raytheon Comp. v. Cray, Inc.,2:15-CV-01554-JRG, 2017 WL 2813896, at *4 (E.D. Tex. June 29, 2017), the Eastern District of Texas adopted a new venue test to deal with the influx of transfer motions after the U.S. Supreme Court’s TC Heartland holding.

The Court in Raytheon adopted a test to determine the meaning of “regular and established place of business” under 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b). Raytheon Corp, 2017 WL 2813896 at *12 – 14. To determine if a “regular and established place of business” exists, the Court will look at:

(1) whether the defendant has a physical presence in the Eastern District (e.g, property, inventory, infrastructure, or people),

(2) whether the defendant represents that it has a presence in the Eastern District,

(3) whether the defendant derives a benefit from its presence in the district, and

(4) whether the defendant has had targeted interactions with individuals in the Eastern District. Id. The Court noted: “None of these factors should alone be dispositive, and other realities present in individual cases should likewise be considered.” Id.

The Court held that Cray, Inc. had a “regular and established place of business” based on the presence of a sales representative in the Eastern District.Id. at 9 – 10. The Court noted that the sales representative had several contacts in the Eastern District, such as an office and a phone. Id. The sales representative also had access to sales literature and was charged with making sales calls in the Eastern District. Id.

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