A Signal by the Court – Intra-district transfer motions

Yesterday afternoon, the Court entered a text order denying Defendants Dell Technologies Inc., Dell Inc., and EMC Corporation’s Motion for Intra-District Transfer to the Austin Division. See UNM Rainforest Innovations v. Dell Techs., 6:20-cv-00468.  As our readers know, the Court recently issued a new Standing Order (which we covered here), which only covered inter-district transfer motions. The new Standing Order stated that the Court will not hold a Markman hearing before ruling on an inter-district transfer motion. This text order likely signals that the Court will treat intra-district and inter-district transfer motions differently – at least in terms of when the Court will rule on such motions. 

In the Court’s text order denying without prejudice Dell’s Intra-district transfer motion, the Court stated “Defendants are instructed to re-file this motion as trial approaches so the Court can evaluate if transfer is proper under §1404 and whether the Austin Courthouse will open in time for this trial.” (This contrasts with motions for inter-district transfer, where the new Standing Order requires parties to file transfer motions at least eight weeks before the Markman hearing.) Thus, it seems likely the Court will decide intra-district transfer motions after the Court can determine which witnesses will actually testify at trial, rather than rely on the parties’ speculation as to who might testify at trial.