On December 5, the Richmond Division of the Federal Bar Association hosted a Lunch and Learn panel for chapter members, area practitioners, and a special guest — the Honorable Robert E. Payne. The panel, titled “Procedural Pitfalls for Civil Practitioners in the Eastern District of Virginia: Insights from Senior Judge Robert E Payne,” was co-moderated by Tim St. George, a former Richmond Division chapter president and law clerk to Judge Payne, and David Anthony. Tim and David, both partners at Troutman Pepper, have special experience handling cases in the E.D. Va. and understand the unique rules, risks, and pitfalls for litigants practicing in this division.
As we posted here and here, a defining aspect of practice in the EDVA’s rocket docket is the ability to quickly obtain preliminary relief. A recent decision by Judge Leonie Brinkema again illustrates how swiftly the court can move. GW Acquisition Co., LLC v. Pageland Limited Liability Co., Case No. 1:23-cv-1207, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181048 (Oct. 6, 2023).
In an October 3 decision, U.S. District Judge Thomas S. Ellis III granted a motion to transfer venue of a patent case brought in the EDVA to California under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Monarch Networking Solutions LLC .v Juniper Networks, Inc., Case No. 1:23 CV670, Dkt. No. 70 (E.D.Va. Oct. 3, 2023).
On September 18, in identical opinions issued in separate cases against Google and Apple, EDVA District Judge Michael Nachmanoff ruled that four patents directed toward geolocation of mobile devices claimed patent-ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Geoscope Technologies PTE, LTD. v. Apple Inc., Case No. 1:22CV1373, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165795 (E.D.Va. Sept. 18, 2023); Geoscope Technologies PTE, LTD. v. Google LLC, Case No. 1:22CV1331, 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165802 (E.D.Va. Sept. 18, 2023).
Plaintiffs who secure a preliminary injunction may now be able to recover attorney’s fees in the Eastern District of Virginia, due to the Fourth Circuit’s departure from its previous position that such plaintiffs are not “prevailing parties” for purposes of recovering attorney’s fees.