Google Follows Newegg In Going Over East Texas Court's Head To Ask Court Be Ordered To Do Its Damn Job
from the issue-the-ruling-already dept
Either way, it looks like Google took Newegg's idea and decided to run with it as well. It, too, has now gone to CAFC to seek a writ of mandamus telling the East Texas court to rule on its request to transfer a patent troll lawsuit to Northern California:
This petition arises out of a patent infringement suit filed against Google by Brite Smart Corp. in July 2014, which was assigned to a magistrate judge. On October 24, 2014, Google moved to transfer the case to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The magistrate judge received Brite Smart’s response on November 10, 2014, and Google’s reply and Brite Smart’s surreply by December 1, 2014, but has yet to rule on the motion. Nonetheless, the magistrate judge has ordered the parties to engage in extensive discovery, including the taking of depositions and exchanging infringement and invalidity contentions, and held a Markman hearing.Again, it seems that there is no excuse for this, other than that the East Texas courts are buried under all these patent lawsuits, and the easiest way to deal with that problem is to promptly transfer out cases that don't belong there.
At times, a lengthy delay in ruling on a request for relief can amount to a denial of the right to have that request meaningfully considered....
Here, Google filed its motion to transfer approximately eight months ago. Yet, despite the obligation to “promptly conduct” such proceedings, ... there has been no ruling, not even a hearing. Meanwhile, the magistrate judge has pressed forward with the case, proceeding through to the close of discovery and conducting both a Markman hearing and a hearing related to several discovery disputes. Brite Smart makes much of the fact that Google moved to supplement its motion to transfer. However, Google’s supplement amounted to less than two pages highlighting seven lines of deposition testimony. It does not account for the previous months of district court indecision. And Google expressly asked the district court to deny the request if it meant further delay on the transfer motion.
Given this passage of time and magistrate judge’s ordering of substantive development of the case, Google has made a compelling case that the magistrate arbitrarily refused to consider the merits of its transfer motion. We therefore direct the magistrate to rule on the motion to transfer within 30 days and to stay all proceedings pending completion of the transfer matter. We remind the lower court that any familiarity that it has gained with the underlying litigation due to the progress of the case since the filing of the complaint is irrelevant when considering the transfer motion and should not color its decision.