Patent Case Transferred from Eastern District of Texas to Northern District of Georgia
Over the past year, Swipe Innovations, LLC ("Swipe"), a Houston, Texas-based company, has filed 30 cases in the Eastern District of Texas against over 50 defendants, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 5,351,296, titled "Financial Transmission System" ("the '296 patent"). One of the 30 cases was filed against Alpharetta, Georgia-based Ingenico Corp. and Ingenico Inc., and French company Ingenico S.A. d/b/a Groupe Ingenico (collectively, "Ingenico"). On March 5, 2013, Judge Ron Clark of the Eastern District of Texas granted Ingenico's motion to transfer the case to the Northern District of Georgia.
Swipe is a non-practicing entity whose sole member and manager is Tyler Brochstein. Swipe's business appears to entail licensing and enforcement efforts relating to the '296 patent. Ingenico is a worldwide provider of payment systems, including the PIN pads accused by Swipe of infringement. The claims of the '296 patent relate to a method and device for determining and securely transmitting a bank or credit card's account code over a communications network to a remote location, and allows for concurrent voice communications to be performed by telephone over the same communications network. In its Amended Complaint, Swipe identified a number of Ingenico's encrypting PIN pads as accused products, including the two shown below.
Ingenico's eN-Touch 1000
Ingenico's 5100 PIN pad
Ingenico filed a motion to transfer the case to the Northern District of Georgia under 28 U.S.C. 1404(a) for the convenience of the parties. The Court first resolved the threshold jurisdictional question by determining that the case could have been filed in the Northern District of Georgia. The Court then turned to the traditional private and public interest factors courts must weigh in considering a motion to transfer under 1404(a). (For more on the transfer factors, see our previous post here.) The Court noted that neither Swipe nor Ingenico have any connection to the Eastern District of Texas, while Ingenico's business, documents, employees, are all located in the Northern District of Georgia. After weighing the appropriate factors, the Court granted Ingenico's motion and ordered the case to be transferred.
The case, now officially administratively transferred to the Northern District of Georgia, is Swipe Innovations, LLC v. Ingenico Corp. et al., 1:13-cv-00967-RLV, and is assigned to U.S. District Judge Robert L. Vining, Jr.