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In re Google LLC

United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

February 13, 2020, Decided

2019-126

Opinion

 [*1339]  ON PETITION

Dyk, Circuit Judge.

ORDER

Google LLC ("Google") petitions for a writ of mandamus ordering the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to dismiss the case for lack of venue. See Super Interconnect Techs. LLC v. Google LLC, No. 2:18-CV-00463-JRG, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132005 (E.D. Tex. Aug. 7, 2019). We hold that mandamus is warranted and order that the case either be dismissed or transferred.

Background

Super Interconnect Technologies LLC ("SIT") sued Google for patent infringement in the Eastern District of Texas. ] Under the patent venue statute, 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b), "[a]ny civil action for patent infringement may be brought in the judicial district where the defendant resides, or where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business." SIT filed its  [*1340]  suit after the Supreme Court's decision in TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Group Brands LLC, 137 S. Ct. 1514, 1517, 197 L. Ed. 2d 816 (2017), which held that "a domestic corporation 'resides' only in its State of incorporation for purposes of the patent venue statute," and this court's decision in In re Cray, Inc., 871 F.3d 1355, 1360 (Fed. Cir. 2017), which held that a "regular and established place of business" under the patent venue statute must be: (1) "a physical place in the district"; (2) "regular and established"; and (3) [**3]  "the place of the defendant."

SIT alleged that "venue is proper . . . under 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b) because Google has committed acts of infringement in the District and has a regular and established place of business in this District." Super Interconnect, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132005, at *3. Google's business includes providing video and advertising services to residents of the Eastern District of Texas through the Internet. SIT's allegation of venue was based on the presence of several Google Global Cache ("GGC") servers, which function as local caches for Google's data.1

The GGC servers are not hosted within datacenters owned by Google. Instead, Google contracts with internet service providers (ISPs) within the district to host Google's GGC servers within the ISP's datacenter. When a user requests Google's content, the ISP attempts to route the user's request to a GGC server within its own network (within the district) before routing the request to Google's central data storage servers (outside the district). The GGC servers cache only a small portion of content that is popular with nearby users but can serve that content at lower latency—which translates to shorter wait times—than Google's central server infrastructure. This performance benefit is [**4]  in part due to the physical proximity of the GGC servers to the ISP's users. This arrangement allows Google to save on bandwidth costs and improve user experience on its various platforms.

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949 F.3d 1338 *; 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 4588 **; 2020 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 51960; 2020 WL 728165

IN RE: GOOGLE LLC, Petitioner

Prior History:  [**1] On Petition for Writ of Mandamus to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas in Nos. 2:18-cv-00462-JRG, 2:18-cv-00463-JRG, Judge J. Rodney Gilstrap.

CORE TERMS

servers, regular, established place of business, venue, district court, venue statute, mandamus, contracts, place of business, installation, conducting, patent, space, infringement, network, Cable, users, host, rack, customers, functions

Patent Law, Jurisdiction & Review, Personal Jurisdiction & Venue, Places of Business & Residence, Civil Procedure, Writs, Common Law Writs, Mandamus, Service of Process, Governments, Legislation, Interpretation, Business & Corporate Law, Agency Relationships, Establishment, Elements, Elements, Factors Inconsistent With Agency