Panel Orders Centralization of Parallel Networks Cases in EDTX Despite Plaintiff’s Opposition
June 14, 2012 – The US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation granted defendants’ motion for centralization of plaintiff Parallel Networks‘ [NPE] nine patent lawsuits filed between 2010 and 2011 in two districts against a total of 30 defendants. Parallel Networks filed suits in both the Eastern District of Texas (EDTX) and the District of Delaware, asserting infringement of patent 6,446,111. Parallel Networks opposed the motion for centralization on the grounds that there are “effectively only two actions involved in this litigation” after the EDTX actions were consolidated into a single action before Judge Leonard E. Davis and because that action has progressed to a later stage. The panel granted the motion and stated that although the EDTX action has progressed “somewhat further” than the litigation in Delaware, “additional pretrial rulings (including claim construction rulings on other disputed claims) will be necessary to resolve [plaintiff's] claims against the over 20 defendants for whom summary judgment was denied. . . .Importantly, [Judge Davis] is unquestionably the jurist most familiar with the merits of litigation and the involved patent by virtue of his presiding over a streamlined ‘mini-Markman’ hearing that construed three claim terms that led to his granting summary judgment in favor of nearly 100 defendants.” Parallel Networks (formerly asserting patents as epicRealm) has been involved in 25 patent infringement suits since 2005 over patents generally relating to balancing web server demand. According to USPTO assignment records, Parallel now holds 20 issued patents that developed by a content delivery networking startup, EpicRealm, that ceased commercial operations in 2001. 6/12, District of Delaware, Judge Richard G. Andrews, 1:11cv00822.