Pactiv Corp. v. Multisorb Techs., Inc., No. 10 C 461, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Feb. 15, 2011) (Leinenweber, Sen. J.).

Judge Leinenweber granted defendant Multisorb Technologies’ Fed. R. Civ. P. 42 motion to consolidate a later-filed and related patent case before Judge Dow with the instant case. While the two cases asserted different patents, both cases accused Multisorb’s FreshPax CR device for creating low-oxygen packaging. And several of the patents claimed the same priority. Additionally, the two complaints used virtually identical language. And the fact that plaintiff Pactiv’s patent claims in the first suit were stayed pending reexam did not matter. Regardless of the timing of decisions, having two separate cases would still subject the parties to inconsistent rulings.

And transfer of the later-filed case was warranted to Local Rule 40.4. Both cases involved the same accused product. While the stay of Pactiv’s patent claims in the first suit complicated matters, it did not mitigate the value of consolidating and reassigning the cases before a single judge.