MDL Panel Transfers 15 Patent Cases to District of Delaware
The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (MDL) has ordered fifteen related patent cases consolidated and transferred to the District of Delaware. Judge Gregory M. Sleet, who had presided over several of the pending cases, will now hear the consolidated action, which involves nine patents related to high-speed internet and "related" services. See Docket, 07-md-1848-GMS (filed June 21, 2007).
By ordering the transfer and consolidation, the MDL rejected the assertion that unique questions of fact predominate over any commonalities: "Transfer under [28 U.S.C] Section 1407 does not require a complete identity or even a majority of common factual or legal issues as a prerequisite to transfer." Indeed, the MDL expressly commented on the benefits of trying the cases in Delaware: "[W]e are assigning this litigation to a seasoned jurist in a readily accessible district with the capacity to handle this litigation."