LAS VEGAS — The United States District Court of Nevada granted a change of venue request by Twitter. Inc to the Northern District Court of California in a ruling signed by Judge Richard F. Boulware II on July 23.
VoIP-Pal.com filed a complaint in the United States District Court of Nevada claiming patent infringement by Twitter Inc. The complaint alleges that Twitter improperly used patented technology (Patents 005 and 815) owned by VoIP-Pal.com that produces routing messages for Voice-over-Internet Protocol (VOIP) in its worldwide operations.
VoIP-Pal.com contended damages from this infringement at $2,699.256.418.
Twitter requested a motion of transfer under Section 1404(a), which allows a district court to transfer jurisdiction at its discretion on a case-by-case basis.
Judge Richard F. Boulware II
The defendant claimed that the required three standards for jurisdiction in the case had not been met. For jurisdiction, a defendant must have a place of business within the boundaries of the district court, must have a regular and established business, and the place of business must be the defendant’s place.
Twitter has 3,490 employees with 1,706 working out of San Francisco, including 636 of its 938 software engineers.
The only employee residing in Nevada, a software engineer, is there by their own choice and works remotely in a position Twitter could fulfill anywhere in the world with Internet access.
It was determined in the argument that Twitter has no offices, buildings or facilities in Nevada, and does not directly or indirectly store any data in Nevada. The defendant has no address, telephone number or website listed in Nevada either. The defendant is a software company that conducts business online and does not store any inventory in Nevada.
The court also cited TC Heartland LLC vs. Kraft Foods Grp. Brands LLC in a 2017 case with similar factors as cause for granting the defendant’s motion for change of venue to the Northern District Court of California.
The court recognized that the plaintiffs’ case has some weight but that aside from the software engineer the defendant has no presence within their jurisdiction.
The Northern District Court of California is within close proximity to plaintiffs’ center of operations in Washington and will better serve as a forum in this case, according to the court.