Supreme Court Denies Review of In re Volkswagen Appeal, Dashes any Hope of Overturning In re TS Tech

Today the Supreme Court denied a writ of certiorari seeking review of the Fifth Circuit’s grant of mandamus in In re Volkswagen transferring the case from the Eastern District of Texas to the Northern District of Texas.  The Fifth Circuit held that the district court had abused its discretion in refusing to grant a motion to transfer venue of the case to Dallas where most of the evidence and witnesses were located.

We previously reported on the In re TS Tech case in which the Federal Circuit followed In re Volkswagen and ordered the transfer of a patent infringement case from the Eastern District of Texas to the Southern District of Ohio.  As a result of that case, several patent infringement cases have since been transferred out of the Eastern District. 

A number of transfer motions have been denied as well where no one district was clearly more convenient to try the case or where a more substantial connection with the Eastern District was shown.  See Michael Smith’s recent blog posts for information about a recent transfer of a case and a case of “Fraternal Twins” in which one case was transferred and another case between the same parties but a different patent was denied.

Some practitioners have suggested that the TS Tech decision will be good for patent litigation in the Eastern District because it will reduce the backlog of cases, helping return the courts to the quick trial settings for which they were once known.  There is no question that, after TS Tech, the filing of patent infringement cases in the Eastern District has fallen off dramatically as many plaintiffs have decided they would rather not waste resources fighting venue battles.  While a decrease in the number of filings is certain, patent litigation in the Eastern District is still alive and well.

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