Patently-O: Judge Takes Stand Against Forum Shopping

Collaboration Properties v. Tandberg ASA, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43930 (N.D.Cal. 2006)

Defendant Tandberg waited for six months before moving to amend its answer to add certain defenses and counterclaims.  At about the same time, Tandberg filed its own patent infringement lawsuit (through a holding company) against Collaboration Props in the Eastern District of Texas. Judge Patel of the Northern District of California was clearly peeved at Tandberg’s litigation strategy and forum shopping. 

The court’s concerns about gamesmanship have not diminished, particularly in light of Tandberg’s ongoing aggressive and arguably frivolous motion practice.

Despite these concerns, Judge Patel granted leave to amend subject to a “reasonable condition” that Tandberg’s holding company submit to personal jurisdiction in California and allow the case to be consolidated there.  Tandberg refused and so the court also refused to allow the amended answer and counterclaims.

Note: A reader e-mailed the decision to me because it is apparently the first federal court decision citing Patently-O. In particular, the court cites a draft version of patent reform legislation that I have stored online. At his blog, Ian Best, has compiled a directory of all 27 cases that thus far cite to legal blogs.  (A total of 8 legal blogs have been cited).  Mr. Best has also compiled a directory of all 489 law review articles that cite to legal blogs.  It turns out that Patently-O is in the top-ten with seventeen citations, thirteen of them coming in the past four months.