May 2010

Don’t Mess With Texas

by Lee Gesmer on May 14, 2010

Don’t Mess With Texas

I’ve written before about how generous juries in the federal courts in the Eastern District of Texas (EdTX) are to patent plaintiffs. (link).  After I wrote about this a year ago there was a feeling that this trend might be reversing itself. However, Johnson & Johnson’s $1.6 billion judgment against Abbott and i4i’s $200 million verdict against Microsoft last summer put an end to those thoughts.

So, when Apple, Sirius XM and others were recently sued for patent infringement in EdTX they quite naturally looked for a way out.  Massachusetts, they told the Texas district court, was a far better choice, particularly when you considered the fact that that the patent owner, a non-practicing entity, had set up a Texas company shortly before filing suit, and located its business in the offices of its Texas lawyers.

But, it’s not that easy.

After the EdTX trial court refused to transfer the case to Massachusetts, Apple and its co-defendants filed a “mandamus” with the Federal Circuit. … Read the full article