The Federal Circuit recently issued two precedential orders concerning transfers under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Both concerned E.D. Tex. cases.
In In re Volkswagen of America, Inc., No. Misc. 897 (Fed. Cir. May 22, 2009), the court denied a writ of mandamus that sought to overturn the E.D.Tex. court's refusal to transfer two patent infringement cases (based on the same patents) brought by a Texas company against many, many auto manufacturers located around the world. In a short order, the court agreed with the district court that it made sense to try such a case in one district. Apparently the Federal Circuit viewed the E.D. Tex. as good as any other district for that purpose.
In In re Genentech Inc. and Biogen, Inc., No. Misc. 901 (Fed. Cir. May 22, 2009), however, the court granted the writ of mandamus and ordered the E.D. Tex. to transfer a patent suit brought by a German company against a San Diego company and a San Francisco company to San Francisco. In a lengthier discussion, the Federal Circuit explained that the district court made several legal errors in its convenience analysis.