Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mandamus to effect venue change rejected in VTech

VTech failed to escape ED Texas.

Important text:

The use of mandamus power to correct an erroneous denial of transfer has been
approved under Fifth Circuit law, which applies here. See, e.g., In re Genentech, Inc.,
566 F.3d 1338 (Fed. Cir. 2009); In re TS Tech USA Corp., 551 F.3d 1315 (Fed. Cir.
2008); In re Volkswagen of Am., Inc., 545 F.3d 304 (5th Cir. 2008) (en banc) (granting
mandamus and directing the district court to transfer to a clearly more convenient
forum). Without mandamus, defendants such as VTech may be left with the inadequate
remedy of waiting until final judgment to correct indisputable errors. TS Tech, 551 F.3d
at 1322. With that said, however, mandamus relief in § 1404(a) cases is solely
reserved for circumstances where the petitioner can demonstrate that the denial of
transfer was a “clear” abuse of discretion such that refusing transfer produced a
“patently erroneous result.” Volkswagen, 545 F.3d at 310.* A suggestion that the
district court abused its discretion, which might warrant reversal on a direct appeal, is
not a sufficient showing for mandamus relief.

One memorable line from the case:

Horseshoe stands for the proposition that
vague generalities related to the possibility of delay caused by granting a transfer are
not proper considerations. 337 F3d at 433-34. Contrastingly, the advanced stage of
discovery and the completion of claim construction are proper considerations that weigh
against transfer in the circumstances of this case.


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