Cian IP LLC v. National Instruments Corp., 1:12cv00365-M (W.D. Tex. 5/16/12)
Judge: Lee Yeakel
Holding: Case Reassigned to Barbara M.G. Lynn for all proceedings
Now this is interesting.
The Cian IP litigation consists of several separate cases filed in the Northern District of Texas, Dallas post-AIA. Judge Barbara Lynn issued an order shortly after the cases were filed noting that "[i]n each of these cases, Cian IP alleges infringement of the same patent. By March 21, 2012, Plaintiff and all Defendants shall advise the Court on whether these cases should be consolidated and why." She then held a hearing on consolidation and on the motion to transfer in one of the cases, and transferred that case against defendant National Instruments, to Austin, in the Western District of Texas. In the order, she stated that "[w]hile the Court recognizes Plaintiff’s position that judicial economy would be served by having one judge in one district construe the patent terms, this Court concludes that that factor alone should not override the convenience factors otherwise applicable to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), and there are various case management techniques that can be employed to minimize the consequence of the cases proceeding in different districts." She then appears to have consolidated the remaining cases for pretrial proceedings.
On May 15 Judge Lee Yeakel in Austin, who had drawn the transferred case, transferred Cian's case against National Instruments to Judge Lynn's "Austin Docket" and graciously directed that the clerk "credit this case to the percentage of business of the receiving judge."
So the net result is that the two judges have cooperated to see that Judge Lynn will continue to handle all aspects of the litigation even though it's now spread between the two courts she has determined are "clearly more convenient" for the named defendants.