The Western District of Texas has seen a significant increase in patent litigation since the confirmation of District Judge Alan D. Albright. That trend that has accelerated in 2020, the second quarter of which saw the Western District overtake Delaware as the most popular patent venue. With that popularity has come greater scrutiny of Judge Albright’s posture toward certain types of motions—most notably inter-district motions to transfer for convenience, a form of relief that Judge Albright has never granted, according to one litigant. The Federal Circuit has now pushed back against Judge Albright’s approach to such motions, ruling that he improperly weighed the applicable factors in a decision that denied a convenience transfer motion filed by Adobe. However, the Federal Circuit also rejected a similar mandamus petition filed by Dropbox in another case by the same plaintiff, SynKloud Technologies, LLC, holding that the defendant must first seek reconsideration of Judge Albright’s underlying order denying transfer.
SynKloud Technologies, LLC—which touts itself as “a research and Intellectual Property Licensing company located in Milton, Delaware” that is “focused on providing needed Intellectual Property solutions for the cloud computing industry and beyond”—appears to have added more patents to its growing portfolio, including assets developed by General Voice and others received from Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI). Those patents join portfolios received previously from Presto Services, STT WebOS, and Ximeta, many of which SynKloud has already asserted in litigation.Indeed, this past week,Microsoft (1:20-cv-00007) filed suit againstSynKloud pleading that the NPE’s actions—filing suit against HP accusing Microsoft products of infringement, as well as initiating “a litigation campaign, including against a number of Microsoft competitors accusing cloud storage technology similar to that accused in the HP action”—“in combination with its public statements, have made clear that SynKloud intends to enforce its patent portfolio broadly and generically against the entire cloud storage industry”.
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