Monday, May 7, 2012

America Invents Act Does Not Preclude Centralization by MDL Panel

The court granted the patentholder's motion to transfer fourteen actions in three districts to the MDL in the District of Delaware despite defendants' argument that the America Invents Act precluded the MDL panel from centralizing the actions. "[T]he America Invents Act does not alter our authority to order pretrial centralization of this litigation. First, transfer under [28 U.S.C.] Section 1407 and joinder under [the America Invents Act] operate under decidedly different standards. . . . Transfer under Section 1407 does not transmute all transferred actions into a single action, thereby joining all defendants. Instead, the separate nature of actions transferred to an MDL is preserved throughout each action’s pendency whether the actions proceed in a coordinated or consolidated manner. . . . Moreover, [defendant] does not point to any portion of the legislative history of the America Invents Act joinder provision that discusses pretrial transfer under Section 1407."

Comcast Cable Communications LLC v. Bear Creek Technologies Inc., 1-11-cv-00721 (DED May 2, 2012, Order) (Panel, J.)

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