In the press of year-end business, I neglected to cover a notable mandamus opinion in 2014 from the Federal Circuit, In re Google, Inc, No. 2014-147, 2014 WL 5032336 (Oct. 9, 2014). Reminiscent of that Court’s opinion in In re Genentech, 566 F.3d 1338 (2009), and the Volkswagen/Radmax line of cases from the Fifth Circuit, In re: Google addresses the denial of a motion to transfer patent litigation from the Eastern District of Texas.
The district court focused on “each defendant mobile phone manufacturer’s ability to modify and customize” the relevant platform. The Federal Circuit disagreed and granted mandamus relief, emphasizing the “substantial similarity involving the infringement and invalidity issues in all the suits.” That Court also rejected an argument based on the first-filed rule, finding that on these facts, “the equities of the situation do not depend on this argument.” (quoting Kerotest Mfg. Co. v. C-O-Two Fire Equip Co., 342 U.S. 180, 186 n.6 (1952). Concluding with a review of the practical considerations listed by 1404(a), the Court noted that the product at issue was developed in the Northern District of California, and thus the “bulk of the relevant evidence” is there as well.