In re Apple, 21-147 (Fed. Cir. August 4, 2021); In re Google, 21-144 (Fed. Cir. Aug 4, 2021)
Two mandamus cases regarding whether venue is proper in Judge Albright’s court in W.D. Texas.
Even though Apple has a $1 billion Austin Texas Campus and 8,000+ employees within the district, the company argued that litigating a patent case within the district would be truly inconvenient. In a prior decision, the Federal Circuit held that Apple’s extensive presence within the district should not be given much weight. In re Apple Inc., 979 F.3d 1332 (Fed. Cir. 2020). I would argue that decision was clearly wrong for convenient venue purposes. The real answer here is that the plaintiff (Koss Corp) shopped for Judge Albright and the defendant is shopping for a different Judge (any other judge). In a short opinion, the Federal Circuit has denied mandamus — finding that Apple did not show entitlement to the “extraordinary relief” of mandamus.
In Google, the court reiterated that “Google’s mere presence in the Western District of Texas insofar as it is not tethered to the events underlying the litigation is not entitled to weight in analyzing the local interest factor in this case.” However, again the appellate court concluded that Google did not show that N.D.Cal. was clearly more convenient.