Eastern District of Texas Orders Parties to Address Issues Pertaining to Consolidating "Serially" Filed Patent Infringement Cases on the Same Patent Against Different Defendants
The plaintiff filed several patent infringement actions against different defendants in the Eastern District of Texas. Because of the America Invents Act ("AIA"), the plaintiff filed the actions separately. The district court scheduled a combined scheduling conference for the separate cases and prior to the scheduling conference requested that the parties address procedures for consolidation given the administrative burdens placed on the parties and the courts due to the new joinder provisions of the AIA.
As the district court explained, "Congress has recently addressed the issue of joinder in patent cases in section 19 of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act, which was signed into law in September 2011. . . . In particular, the new joinder provision provides that accused infringers may be joined in one action as defendants, or have their actions consolidate for trial, only if the allegation of infringement arise out of the same transaction, occurrence, or series of transactions or occurrences relating to the making, using, importing into the United States, offering for sale, or selling of the same accused product or process."