Technology

Judge insists Apple patent case be heard in Texas despite legal protests

Apple claims that a judge has erred in keeping the case in Texas, and that there is “no rational basis” to keep the case in Texas.

What you need to know

  • Apple is being sued in Texas over patent infringement.
  • As you can imagine, Apple thinks the case should be heard in Cupertino, where it is based.
  • A judge has questioned why the case needs to be moved from Texas, even though Apple says none of its Texas employees worked on the patent in question.

A Texas Judge has questioned why an Apple patent should be moved from Texas to California, despite Apple’s insistence none of its Texas employees have worked on the patent, and that “every identified potential witness is in California.”

As Law360 notes:

A Federal Circuit judge raised doubts Tuesday about the need to move Uniloc’s patent infringement suit against Apple to the tech giant’s home state of California after the iPhone maker argued that U.S. District Judge Alan Albright wrongly kept the case in West Texas.

Via telephone, Apple’s attorney argued that the case should be moved to the Northern District of California, because that is where Apple designs its products, including those that allegedly infringe on the patent.

Judge Kimberly Moore argued that she had seen no evidence presented to suggest that none of Apple’s 8,000 engineers in Austin, TX, had worked on the product. Apple said the claim was backed up by sworn statements from a senior Apple finance manager and two Austin employees.

Apple further argued that “every identified potential witness is in California” and that a previous judge had “clearly erred in his transfer analysis”, stating that there was “no rational basis” to keep the case in Texas. The party suing Apple, Uniloc 2017 LLC has filed 24 suits against Apple, 21 of which have already been transferred to California.

The judge stated that Apple was “one of the largest employers in the Western District of Texas”, and that as such there was strong local interest in having the litigation decided locally.

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