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Federal Circuit Grants Mandamus, Moves Patent Suit Against Microsoft Out Of East Texas

Publication Date: 
November 11, 2010
Source: 
Corporate Counsel
Author: 
Alison Frankel

Professor Mark Lemley is featured in the following story by Corporate Counsel for his study on intellectual property which has been influential in determining which districts are plaintiff-friendly for patent litigation. Here is the story:

Last May, we told you about a study on IP forum shopping by Stanford Law professor (and Durie Tangri partner) Mark Lemley. Lemley's most surprising finding was that the Eastern District of Texas isn't in the top five most plaintiffs-friendly jurisdictions for patent litigation. Patent plaintiffs win about 40 percent of the cases that go to judgment in the Eastern District of Texas, Lemley found. That's a full 15 percent less than plaintiffs' win rate in their most welcoming venue, the Northern District of Texas.

Nevertheless, patent plaintiffs just keep filing cases in Marshall and Tyler, Tx., and pulling all sorts of maneuvers to make it seem as though they have business connections to that out-of-the-way region of the country. A company called Allvoice Developments is a good case in point. Allvoice operates its voice-recognition patent licensing business from the United Kingdom, where the inventor of its key patent lives. It also, however, has an office in Tyler. And 16 days before Allvoice filed an infringement suit against Microsoft in 2009, the company incorporated under the laws of Texas.

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For what it's worth, Professor Lemley's study says the win rate for plaintiffs in the Western District of Washington is 20 percent.