Noting Financial Disparity between Litigants, Judge Denies Motion to Transfer in NPE Case against Apple
- March 1, 2012
On February 24, 2012 defendant Apple‘s motion to transfer venue was denied. It plaintiff Robocast [NPE] denying Apple’s motion to transfer venue given the vast disparity in financial positions of the parties and its potential impact on the litigation. The judge characterized Apple as a “large and powerful corporation” while observing that Robocast “consists of its President and two employees.” Damon Torres, the named inventor on the lone patent involved in the dispute, is the CEO and Chairman of Robocast and also the founder and president of Interactive Media Universe. Robocast filed suit against Apple on March 21, 2011 in the District of Delaware alleging that Apple willfully infringed patent 7,155,451, an “automated browsing system for publishers and users on networks serving internet and remote devices,” when Apple incorporated automated browsing technology in products such as Apple TV, iTunes, and Front Row without first licensing the technology from Robocast. Robocast’s allegation that Apple willfully infringed the patent, as stated in the complaint, stems from Mr. Torres’s assertion that he demonstrated the technology and discussed the patent to unnamed Apple employees at a trade show in Los Angeles and a conference in San Diego.