Monday, May 16, 2011

Earlier-Filed Action Warrants Transfer Of Venue From The Eastern District Of Texas, But Only As To Parties Involved In Earlier-Filed Action

Defendants' motions to transfer venue under the first-to-file rule were granted in part as to one defendant who had filed an action in the transferee forum one month before the instant case was filed. However, the court denied the motion as to two defendants who were not parties to the first-filed case. "The Court appreciates that given the same patents are asserted in all three cases, there is a potential for overlap regarding claim construction issues, infringement issues, invalidity issues, and unenforceability issues. However, given that the Court will sever [the first-filed defendant] from the present case, the risk of inconsistent rulings as it relates to the specific parties is significantly decreased. Moreover, the Court finds that the plaintiffs in the second-filed cases should not be rewarded for the procedural hooks they attempted to create with their respective filings."

Vertical Computer Systems, Inc. v. Interwoven, Inc., et. al., 2-10-cv-00490 (TXED May 10, 2011, Order) (Ward, J.)

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