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Leveling the Playing Field for Patent Defendants: Is TS Tech a Harbinger of Future Transfer Motions for Eastern District of Texas Cases?

January 12, 2009

By Stephen S. Korniczky, Michael D. Bednarek, Aslan Baghdadi, Elizabeth M. Roesel, Qin Shi and Gabriel Sukman

Introduction

Following on the heels of the Fifth Circuits much-watched en banc decision in In re Volkswagen of America, Inc., 545 F.3d 304 (5th Cir. 2008) (en banc) (Volkswagen) requiring transfer out of the Eastern District of Texas in a personal injury case, the Federal Circuits December 29, 2008 mandamus order in In re TS Tech U.S. Corp., Misc. Docket No. 888 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 29, 2008) (TS Tech) has erased any doubts that the Fifth Circuits ruling also impacts the plaintiffs choice of venue in patent cases. In that case, the Federal Circuit overturned the district courts refusal to transfer the case from a forum having no meaningful ties to the case. TS Tech, slip op. at 9.

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