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In a string of rulings since 2008, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has made it perfectly clear to the judges of the Eastern District of Texas that they have to cede control of patent cases that have no true connection to their venue, despite such troll tactics as setting up mail-drop offices in Marshall or Tyler. Almost exactly a year ago we declared a trend in Federal Circuit rulings that East Texas judges had abused their discretion in refusing to transfer cases to more appropriate litigation venues. So it seems fitting that we now bring you news of a case that bucks the trend: On Wednesday a three-judge panel of the Federal Circuit denied Vistapoint’s request for a writ of mandamus seeking to transfer ColorQuick’s patent case to Massachusetts. Here’s the ruling, and here’s Patently-O’s analysis. There was one key difference between the ColorQuick suit and recent cases that have been transferred, according to Federal Circuit judges Arthur Gajarsa, Alvin Schall, and Kimberly Moore: Tyler, Tx., federal district court judge Leonard Davis previously oversaw a case involving the same patent at issue in the suit against Vistapoint, and is also presiding over a third case, in which ColorQuick is asserting that patent against FedEx. For that reason, the appellate panel concluded, Judge Davis did not abuse his discretion when he adopted federal magistrate judge John Love’s decision denying Vistapoint’s venue transfer motion. “Even if it was the magistrate and not the trial judge who gained substantial experience in construing the patent claims during prior litigation,” the panel wrote, “it was not plainly incorrect to conclude that having the same magistrate judge handle this and the co-pending case involving the same patent would be more efficient than requiring another magistrate or trial judge to start from scratch.” Judge Davis and Judge Love presided over ColorQuick’s suit against Kodak, which settled, and they’re deep into the litigation of a parallel suit against FedEx, in which Judge Love also denied a transfer motion. In all three cases ColorQuick is represented by Shore Chan Bragalone DePumpo. Cooley is defending both FedEx and Vistapoint, and brought the mandamus motion before the Federal Circuit. We left messages with Michael Shore of Shore Chan and Thomas Friel of Cooly but didn’t hear back.

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