Filing a motion to transfer venue in a court case can be an important tool for a defendant who wants to move the case to home turf, as it were, or it may turn out to be more beneficial to all parties involved for discovery. But most legal teams are in the dark as to their chances of having such a motion to transfer venue approved by a judge, or how long they might have to wait in order to receive a judgment on such motions.
Data compiled using the patent litigation analysis tools available through Docket Navigator helps to shed some light on this situation. Overall, more motions to transfer venue have been granted than have been denied in recent years. For the eight-year period from 2008 until late-2016, a total of 1,079 motions to transfer venue have been granted in patent infringement suits being litigated in U.S. district courts. By contrast, 974 motions to transfer venue were denied during the same period of time. The following charts will look at district courts with ten or more motions to transfer venue filed during that time period.
Not every U.S. district court takes a friendly view of motions to transfer venue, and one of the places where more motions are denied than granted is the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (E.D. Tex.). During the eight years that were surveyed, a total of 377 motions to transfer venue were denied in E.D. Tex. while the court only granted 279 such motions. These figures also point out the massive number of patent infringement cases playing out at E.D. Tex. Second to E.D. Tex. in terms of the number of motions either granted or denied is the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware (D. Del.), where 107 motions to transfer venue were denied and 88 such motions were granted over an eight year period.
Although E.D. Tex. and D. Del. see the largest number of motions to transfer venue, other district courts take much longer to render a decision on those same motions. On average, it takes 283.7 days for a motion to transfer venue to be denied in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York (N.D.N.Y.). Trailing N.D.N.Y. in this regard is E.D. Tex., which has an average pendency of 219.4 days from the date the motion is filed until it is denied, and D. Del., where the average pendency is 199.5 days. For motions to transfer venue which are granted, D. Del. (184.5 days) and E.D. Tex. (183.2 days) are at the top of the list for the longest average pendencies from the date the motion is filed. However, also in that mix is the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado (D. Colo.), where the average pendency on a motion to transfer venue is 184.3 days for motions which are granted.
The fastest average pendencies on motions to transfer venue which are denied from the date that the motion was filed were seen in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (C.D. Cal.), where it took only an average of 51.7 days to deny such a motion. While C.D. Cal. also sees a quick average pendency period of 62.8 days to grant a motion to transfer venue, the quickest average pendency to granting a motion to transfer venue was 61 days in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (E.D. Va.).
The data analytics available through Docket Navigator give any patent attorney better tools for forecasting a court’s activity, helping them deliver more value to their clients. Legal teams considering a change of court venue will get a much better idea of their chances to do so with this powerful data engine.
Charts made using Docket Navigator's data.
This guest post was written by Steve Brachmann.