A spate of recent transfers out of the Eastern District of Texas in cases brought there by NPEs include a failed motion for a writ of mandamus from the Federal Circuit seeking to reverse a transfer, a successful motion for a writ ordering a transfer, an NPE throwing in the towel by agreeing to transfer, and several follow-on successful motions to change venue, typically to the Northern District of California. All of these transfers out of Texas have occurred as the US Supreme Court considers whether to limit in which judicial districts patent infringement actions can be brought; the Court heard arguments in the TC Heartland case in late March, with a decision expected in the coming weeks.
Less than two weeks after Alibaba, The Priceline Group (Booking.com), and eBay filed petitions for inter partes review (IPR) challenging Global Equity Management (SA) Pty. Ltd.’s (GEMSA’s) two patents-in-campaign, the NPE has sued Alibaba for a second time (2:16-cv-01074). As in all of GEMSA’s previous cases, which now total over 35, the NPE’s infringement allegations focus on the graphical user interface (GUI) of the defendant’s website.