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Uniloc USA, Inc. v. Apple Inc.

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Marshall Division

July 21, 2017, Decided; July 21, 2017, Filed

CIVIL ACTION NO. 2:17-CV-00258-JRG

Opinion

Order Granting Defendant's Motion for Leave to Propound Venue Discovery

Before the Court is Defendant Apple, Inc.'s ("Apple") Motion for Leave to Propound Venue Discovery (Dkt. No. 27). Having considered the Parties' submissions, and for the following reasons, the Court finds that the motion should be and is GRANTED, as modified herein. [*2] 

I. Background

On April 3, 2017, Plaintiffs Uniloc USA, Inc. and Uniloc Luxembourg, S.A. ("Uniloc") filed a complaint against Apple, alleging infringement of three patents. On June 16, 2017, Apple filed a motion to transfer this case to the Northern District of California under 28 U.S.C. § 1404 ("Motion to Transfer"). (Dkt. No. 25.) Five days later, Apple filed a motion to propound venue discovery. (Dkt. No. 27.)

Apple contends that early venue discovery is warranted because Uniloc's assertions of witnesses, record, and places of business within Texas are inconsistent "with a host of public evidence." Id. at 1. For example, Apple argues that while Uniloc has represented that the prosecuting attorney of the patents-in-suit, Sean Burdick, lives and works in Texas, Mr. Burdick appears to own a home in California and has a California phone number. Id. at 5. Another example relates to asserted inconsistencies regarding the residence of Craig Etchegoyen, the CEO of Uniloc, at the time the complaint was filed. Id. at 4. In its motion, Apple seeks leave to propound discovery consisting of interrogatories, document production, and a half-day deposition. Id.

Uniloc filed several declarations in its response brief to address the residences [*3]  of Uniloc's witnesses, as discussed in Apple's brief. (Dkt. No. 34-1-6.) Uniloc argues that in light of such declarations, there are actually no disputes with respect to the location and residence of witnesses, documents, and places of business. (Dkt. No. 34 at 1.) Accordingly, Uniloc contends that Apple's motion should be denied. (Dkt. No. 34 at 4.)

II. Legal Standard

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2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 126523 *

UNILOC USA, INC., UNILOC LUXEMBOURG, S.A., Plaintiffs, v. APPLE INC., Defendant.

CORE TERMS

discovery, venue, good cause, Propound