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Fed. Cir. Grants Another Mandamus Petition, Transfers Google WDTX Case to NDCA

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Mountain View, California, USA - March 29, 2018: Google sign on the building at Google's headquarters in Silicon Valley . Google is an American technology company in Internet-related services and products.

A patent lawsuit brought by Jenam Tech LLC in the Western District of Texas has been moved after a panel of judges ruled that the case’s “center of gravity” is clearly in the transferee district. The 16-page opinion granted Google LLC’s mandamus petition, overturning Judge Alan D. Albright’s decision as a clear abuse of discretion.

In the lawsuit, Jenam Tech claims that Google’s use of the Quick UDP Internet Connections protocol infringes eight of its patents relating to “methods, systems, and computer products for sharing information to detect an idle Transmission Control Protocol connection.” Google moved to transfer the suit to the district in which it is headquartered, and Jenam opposed.

Though the Waco, Texas court found that the case could have been brought in the Northern District of California, it ruled that the public and private interest factors ultimately disfavored transfer. On appeal, the Federal Circuit disagreed, finding that “[s]everal of the most important factors bearing on the transfer decision strongly favor transfer, and no factor favors retaining the case in the Western District of Texas.”

Among other things, the panel ruled that the district court failed to give sufficient deference to the relative convenience of the transferee forum for the party-affiliated witnesses, wrongly concluded that the Western District of Texas has an interest in the case’s local adjudication, and incorrectly assessed the court congestion factor.

The decision is the latest of several granting the mandamus petitions of tech companies hailed into Texas court over patent disputes. In July, Samsung won transfer and in August, Hulu. The Western District of Texas’ Judge Albright presided over all three cases.

In the instant dispute, Google is represented by Perkins Coie LLP and Keker & Van Nest LLP, and Jenam Tech by Devlin Law Firm.

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