Rotatable Technologies v. Apple, et al., 2:12cv292 (8/17/12)
Judge : Rodney Gilstrap
Holding: Consolidation order
Earlier this afternoon, Judge Rodney Gilstrap of Marshall entered an order partially consolidating some of the "serially" filed patent cases which are currently set for status conferences before him on August 29, 2012. "The passage of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act (“AIA”), which clarified the joinder requirements for cases alleging patent infringement, has resulted in a significant increase in the number of “serially” filed patent cases on the Court’s docket," the Court wrote. "Similarly, the Federal Circuit’s recent In re EMC Corp. decision leads to a nearly analogous result for pre-AIA filings because multi-defendant cases may be severed '[u]nless there is an actual link between the facts underlying each claim of infringement.'"
Judge Gilstrap noted that these serially filed or severed cases, "by their nature, involve common issues of law or fact, including claim construction and validity" and that FRCP 42 permits the Court to join (for hearing or trial) or consolidate actions "which involve a common question of law or fact." According, he entered an order partially consolidating the cases. "Individual cases remain active for venue determinations and trial," he directed, but ordered that the cases be consolidated for all other pretrial issues.