ANDRA GROUP, LP v. VICTORIA’S SECRET STORES, LLC

ANDRA GROUP, LP v. VICTORIA’S SECRET STORES, LLC, Appeal No. 2020-2009 (Fed. Cir. August 3, 2021).  Before Reyna, Mayer, and Hughes.  Appealed from E.D. Tex. (Judge Mazzant, III) (Venue)

Background:

Andra filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the Eastern District of Texas (“District”) alleging that a website (www.victoriassecret.com) operated by the defendants’ businesses infringes on Andra’s patent.  The defendants include a parent company (“LBI”) and three subsidiaries (referred to as “Stores,” “Direct,” and “Brand”), which are entities handling different aspects of the businesses under the brand Victoria’s Secret.  Stores operates retail store locations for the Victoria’s Secret brand in the District.

The defendants collectively filed a motion to dismiss for improper venue asserting that (i) Stores did not commit any acts of infringement in the District, and (ii) LBI, Direct, and Brand (referred to as “Non-Store Defendants”) do not have a regular and established place of business in the District because only Stores operates the retail store locations.  The district court denied-in-part the motion to dismiss with respect to Stores, and granted-in-part the motion to dismiss with respect to the Non-Store Defendants because the Non-Store Defendants do not have a regular and established place of business in the District.  Andra appealed the dismissal of the Non-Store Defendants.

Issue/Holding:

Did the district court err in finding that venue was improper because of a lack of a regular and established place of business by the Non-Store Defendants in the District? (continue reading)

Summary by:  Matt Stanford

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