United States District Court, D. Nevada
RICHARD F. BOULWARE, II UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter is before the Court on Defendant Twitter, Inc.
(“Defendant” or “Twitter”)'s
Motion to Change Venue. (ECF No. 27). For the reasons stated
below, this motion is granted.
October 6, 2016, Plaintiff VoIP-Pal.com, Inc.
(“Plaintiff” or “VoIP-Pal.com”) filed
its Complaint against Defendant, alleging infringement of two
patents. (ECF No. 1). On January 31, 2017, the Court entered
a Stipulation to stay the case due to pending proceedings
before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board
(“PTAB”). (ECF No. 12). Pursuant to the
Stipulation, the Court also directed the parties to file a
Joint Status Report by January 26, 2018, outlining the
parties' respective positions on how the case should
proceed in light of the PTAB's final written decisions.
The parties filed a Joint Status Report on January 26, 2018,
requesting that the stay in the case be lifted. (ECF Nos. 13
& 14). On February 27, 2018, the Court lifted the stay and
ordered the parties to submit a proposed pretrial order. (ECF
filed the instant Motion to Change Venue on February 28,
2018. (ECF No. 27). Plaintiff filed its Response on March 14,
2018. (ECF No. 31). On March 21, 2018, Defendant filed its
Reply. (ECF No. 32). The Court held a hearing on the matter
on July 6, 2018, and ordered Defendant to file a Supplemental
Declaration to address whether Defendant has any physical
equipment or leases any space in Nevada, including space for
data storage, or other support equipment/hardware, within two
weeks. This Order now follows.
RELEVANT FACTUAL FINDINGS FOR JURISDICTION
Court finds the following facts. Plaintiff is a Nevada
corporation, with its principal place of business located at
10900 NE 4th Street, Suite 2300, Bellevue, Washington 98004.
Plaintiff is in the business of Voice-over-Internet Protocol
(“VoIP”) technology, and owns a portfolio of
VoIP-related patents and patent applications. Based on
publicly available information, Plaintiff does not have any
officers, directors, or employees based in Nevada. Plaintiff
has no office, land, facilities, or sales in Nevada. All of
the Plaintiff's patent inventors reside outside of the
United States. Plaintiff's company does not generate
September 24, 2013, U.S. Patent No. 8, 542, 815 (“the
‘815 patent”) entitled “Producing Routing
Messages for Voice Over IP Communications” was duly and
legally issued with Clay Perreault, Steve Nicholson, Rod
Thomson, Johan Emil Viktor Bjorsell, and Faud Arafa as the
named inventors after full and fair examination. Plaintiff is
the owner of all rights, title, and interest in and to the
‘815 patent and possesses all rights of recovery under
the ‘815 patent. On November 3, 2015, U.S. Patent No.
9, 179, 005 (“the ‘005 patent”) entitled
“Producing Routing Messages for Voice Over IP
Communications” was duly and legally issued with Clay
Perreault, Steve Nicholson, Rod Thomson, Johan Emil Viktor
Bjorsell, and Faud Arafa as the named inventors after full
and fair examination. Plaintiff is the owner of all rights,
title, and interest in and to the ‘005 patent and
possesses all rights of recovery under the ‘005 patent.
lawsuit, Plaintiff alleges that Defendant violated the
‘815 and ‘005 patents by utilizing a caller
dialer profile comprising a plurality of calling attributes
to establish network classification criteria for routing
communications such as calls and messages between
callers/initiators and callees/recipients, which incorporates
the patented technology. Plaintiff contends that the damages
arising from this infringement amounts to $2, 699, 256, 418.
is a Delaware corporation, with its principal place of
business / headquarters at 1355 Market Street, Suite 900, San
Francisco, California 94103. Defendant operates a global
Internet platform for public self-expression and conversation
that is free-of-charge and open for virtually anyone to use.
Defendant's product design, development, implementation,
and financial activities are centered in San Francisco. Of
its 3, 490 employees, 1, 706 work out of the San Francisco
headquarters, including 636 of its 938 software engineers.
The San Francisco headquarters are also home to
Defendant's key business teams, including non-technical
personnel supporting product management, marketing, finance,
and sales. VoIP-Pal's infringement allegations relate to
what it refers to as Defendant's “messaging
platform” (or the “Twitter System”). The
accused technology is largely designed and built in San
Francisco, and the bulk, if not all, of any relevant
technical documentation, manuals, and product specifications,
as well as all financial data relevant to revenue derived
from Defendant's products, are located in San Francisco.
Defendant does not own or lease any offices, buildings, or
other facilities in Nevada, and does not directly or
indirectly store any data in Nevada. It has no Nevada
telephone number or local address listed on its website or in
any directory. Defendant is a software company that has no
physical product inventory, and its advertising and marketing
are primarily conducted online. It does not store inventory
or product literature in Nevada.
has a single employee, a software engineer, that lives in
Nevada. Given the nature of his work-which can be performed
from anywhere in the world-this particular engineer chose to
live in Nevada for personal reasons and works from home. He
reports to a manager in San Francisco and uses San Francisco
support staff. Defendant does not own his home or pay his
rent. The decision to live in Nevada was the employee's
alone; Defendant does not condition his employment on his
location. He is free to move out of Nevada if he desires. If
he were to leave Defendant's company or Nevada, Defendant
would have no plans to hire another Nevada-based employee.
Motion to Change ...