United States District Court, S.D. California
WI-LAN INC., WI-LAN USA, INC., and WI-LAN LABS, INC., Plaintiffs,
LENOVO UNITED STATES, INC., et al., Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING LIMITED EXPEDITED DISCOVERY [ECF NO.
Mitchell D. Dembin United States Magistrate Judge.
February 23, 2017, Wi-LAN, Inc., Wi-LAN USA, Inc., and Wi-LAN
Labs, Inc., (“Wi-LAN”) filed a complaint alleging
patent infringement against Lenovo (United States), Inc.,
Lenovo Holding Company, Inc., Motorola Mobility, LLC, and
Motorola Mobility Holdings, LLC (“Lenovo”). (ECF
No. 1). Wi-LAN alleges that Lenovo infringes its U.S. Patent
Nos. 8, 787, 924 (“the '924 patent”), 8, 867,
351 (“the ‘351 patent”), 9, 226, 320
(“the ‘320 patent”), and 9, 497, 743
(“the ‘743 patent”) by manufacturing,
using, selling, offering to sell, and/or importing various
wireless communication products without license.
(Id. ¶¶ 1, 37, 45, 59, 73, 87).
16, 2017, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss for improper
venue or transfer to the Northern District of California.
(ECF No. 39). On June 29, 2017, Plaintiffs filed the instant
ex parte motion for leave to seek expedited discovery. (ECF
No. 40). The motion was referred to this Court by the
district judge. Defendants responded in opposition on July
13, 2017. (ECF No. 48). Both sides filed supplemental
authority. (ECF Nos. 43, 50).
provided herein, Plaintiffs' Motion for Expedited
Discovery is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.
Legal Standard for Motion for Expedited Discovery
Rule of Civil Procedure 26(d) states:
A party may not seek discovery from any source before the
parties have conferred as required by Rule 26(f), except in a
proceeding exempted from initial disclosure under Rule
26(a)(1)(B), or when authorized by these rules, by
stipulation, or by court order.
instant case, Plaintiffs may obtain early discovery only by
court order. In this Circuit, courts must find “good
cause” to determine whether to permit discovery before
the Rule 26(f) conference. Good cause exists where the need
for expedited discovery, in consideration of the
administration of justice, outweighs the prejudice to the
responding party. See, e.g., Arista Records, LLC
v. Does 1-43, Case No. 07cv2357-LAB-POR, 2007 WL
4538697, at *1 (S.D. Cal. Dec. 20, 2007). In considering
whether good cause exists, factors courts may consider
include "(1) whether a preliminary injunction is
pending; (2) the breadth of the discovery request; (3) the
purpose for requesting the expedited discovery; (4) the
burden on the defendants to comply with the requests; and (5)
how far in advance of the typical discovery process the
request was made." Palermo v. Underground Sols.,
Inc., Case No. 12cv1223-WQH-BLM, 2012 WL 2106228, at *2
(S.D. Cal. June 11, 2012).
assert that expedited discovery is necessary to address
whether Defendants have a “regular and established
place of business” in the Southern District of
California. (ECF No. 40-1 at 5). In support, Plaintiffs claim
to have independently discovered multiple Lenovo employees in
the Southern District of California, “including at
least one witness at the executive level.”
(Id. at 7). Defendants, on the other hand, assert
that Plaintiffs' arguments are “flatly
contradicted” by those individuals' declarations.
(ECF No. 48 at 8). As Plaintiffs note, however, counsel for
Defendants conceded that even after filing their motion and
declarations, they did not know how many employees Defendants
have in the Southern District of California. (ECF No. 40-1 at
have served eight requests for production, five
interrogatories, one deposition notice under Rule 30(b)(6),
and a deposition notice for Brian Siegel, Lenovo's
Executive Director of Consumer Sales (who submitted a
declaration in support of Lenovo's venue motion).
(See ECF Nos. 40-4, 40-5, 40-6, 40-7). The scope of
Plaintiffs' requests broadly include residences of
Defendants' personnel; Defendants' relationships with
personnel, customers, and other companies; activities in
connection with any of Defendants' products; and
Defendants' property. (See id.). The scope of
Plaintiffs' requests are limited in time from July 22,
2014, the earliest issue date of the patents-in-suit, to
present. (ECF No. 40-1 at 9. See 40-5 at 6).
Plaintiffs' requests are limited in place to the Southern
District of California. (See ECF Nos. 40-4, 40-5,
claim that much of the information Plaintiffs request is
“irrelevant” to establishing venue, citing
Logantree LP v. Garmin Int'l, Inc., Case No.
SA-17-CA-0098-FB, 2017 WL 2842870 (W.D. Tex. June 22, 2017)
(Biery, F.). (ECF No. 48 at 6). Defendants' reliance on
Logantree is misguided. While the court in
Logantree rules that certain contacts in a district
do not individually establish venue, it does not
address whether such contacts, individually or collectively,
are irrelevant to a question of venue. This Court
finds that the information Plaintiffs request, subject to the
limitations set out below, is relevant to establishing venue.
Court finds good cause for strictly limited expedited
discovery as Plaintiffs have demonstrated that the need for
some expedited discovery outweighs the prejudice to
Defendants in having to respond to limited discovery at this