This morning the Federal Circuit released a precedential order denying a writ of mandamus to dismiss or transfer an appeal from the Western District of Texas to the Northern District of California. Notably, Judge Lourie dissented. Late yesterday and this morning, the Federal Circuit also released two nonprecedential orders dismissing appeals. Here is the text from the order and links to the dismissals.

In re Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. (Precedential Order)

Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. petitions for a writ of mandamus directing the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas to dismiss or transfer this case to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. Bel Power Solutions Inc. opposes. For the following reasons, we deny the petition.

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The petition is denied.

LOURIE, Circuit Judge, dissenting.

I respectfully dissent from the majority’s decision to deny mandamus. In my view, it is clear that venue is improper in the Western District of Texas because Monolithic Power Systems, Inc. does not “reside[]” there and the homes of Monolithic’s four employees in the Western District do not constitute Monolithic’s “regular and established place of business.” 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b). Indeed, we held venue to be improper under materially similar circumstances in In re Cray Inc., 871 F.3d 1355 (Fed. Cir. 2017) and Celgene Corp. v. Mylan Pharms. Inc., 17 F.4th 1111 (Fed. Cir. 2021). As in those cases, the facts here “merely show that there exists within the district a physical location where . . . employee[s] of the defendant carr[y] on certain work for [their] employer,” which is insufficient under § 1400(b). Cray, 871 F.3d at 1366.

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I appreciate the majority’s concern over addressing this issue on mandamus, given Monolithic’s ability to reraise its challenge after final judgment. However, consistent with the use of mandamus to ensure “proper judicial administration,” La Buy v. Howes Leather Co., 352 U.S. 249, 259– 60 (1957); In re Micron Tech., Inc., 875 F.3d 1091 (Fed. Cir. 2017), I believe the majority here erred in finding that immediate review is unwarranted. The district court’s erroneous ruling threatens to bring confusion to the law relating to where a patent infringement suit can properly be brought based on the location of employee homes and to erode the clear statutory requirement of a regular and established place of business. Given the increased prevalence of remote work, I think immediate review by way of mandamus would be important to maintain uniformity of the court’s clear precedent.

For those reasons, I respectfully dissent.