Nov 2, 2020Legal
Fresh From the Bench: Latest Federal Circuit Court Cases


In re: Nitro Fluids L.L.C., Appeal No. 2020-142 (Fed. Cir. Oct. 28, 2020)

In the Court’s only precedential patent opinion this week, the Federal Circuit granted a mandamus petition vacating the district court’s denial of a convenience transfer under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Plaintiff Cameron International Corporation had initially brought suit in 2018 against appellant Nitro Fluids in the Southern District of Texas, alleging infringement of fracking-related patents, and then sued Nitro on related patents in the Western District of Texas in February 2020, alleging infringement by the same accused products. When Nitro moved to transfer the second action to the Southern District of Texas under the first-to-file rule, the district court agreed that the cases involved substantially similar issues such that the first-to-file rule would typically apply. However, notwithstanding that both parties were headquartered in the Southern District and that several of the Fifth Circuit’s § 1404(a) factors favored transfer, the district court found that because Nitro had not demonstrated that a balance of the factors favored transfer, compelling circumstances existed to avoid application of the first-to-file rule.

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By: Jason A. Wrubleski

Edited by: Scott D. Eads and Nika Aldrich, Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt

Contributor: Jason Wrubleski


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