Or Eugene, Medford or Pendleton -- the four divisions of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. The Eastern District of Texas has become a tremendously popular venue for patent owners wishing to bring suit, but, surprisingly, it is not the district where patent owners have the greatest percentage of prevailing.
As reported by Patently-O, a draft paper entitled "Where to File Your Patent Case" by Stanford Professor Mark A. Lemley reports that the patentee win rate in the Eastern District of Texas is 40.3%, whereas it is 45.3% in the District of Oregon. That puts the District of Oregon in an approximate tie for the second best patent win rate (a four-way near tie with Nevada, Middle Florida, and Delaware) among districts with a statistically significant number of patent cases. Only the Northern District of Texas had an appreciably higher patentee win rate (55.1%).
So why file your patent infringement case in Marshall, Texas, when you are likely to fare better in Portland, or Eugene, or Medford, or Pendleton?
Of course, there is more to choosing a venue than just the odds of prevailing. A couple other important factors are (1) the size of jury verdicts and (2) the likelihood of a stay pending reexamination
Large Jury Verdicts in Oregon.
Texas jurors are famous -- some would say infamous -- for handing out large verdicts . . . like it was somebody else's money. Well, there have been large verdicts in Oregon too. Although this has nothing to do with patent law, a Portland jury very recently handed out an $18.4 million punitive award against Boy Scouts of America in a sexual abuse case, as reported in the Oregonian. That was the largest verdict -- by far -- of that type against the Boy Scouts.
Another largest-of-its-kind verdict was the $304.6 million verdict that a Portland jury awarded to Adidas two years ago in its trademark infringement case against Payless Shoes. (Reported here by the Oregonian).
Back in the patent world, there have certainly been some large verdicts against infringers in Oregon. For example, Translogic won a verdict of about $86 million a few years ago, although that was reversed on appeal because a parallel reexamination killed the patent (which the Portland jury had upheld in view of the same prior art).
Stays Pending Reexamination
Speaking of reexamination, it is becoming increasingly common for a defendant to request reexamination and then seek a stay of the district court litigation. According to LegalMetric's "Stay Pending Reexamination" Reports (which is an invaluable resource, by the way), defendants' win rate for contested stay motions in the District of Oregon are less than the nationwide average, with some judges in the district granting those motions sparingly or never.
As I said, Marshall schmarshall. Patent owners would be wise to at least consider bringing their patent cases in Oregon.