Good article by Wei Wang, Gregory H. Lantier, Derek Gosma, and Mindy Sooter in WilmerHale's Eastern District of Texas Newsletter this month on motions to transfer in the district.
In it, they note that the number of motions to transfer filed in EDTX cases dropped over half from 2014 to 2015, from 135 to 63, while at the same time success rates rose from 34% to 43%. They note that filings of motions to transfer are up somewhat this year so far, which I in turn note makes a lot of sense when you consider that the motions to transfer in the large number of Thanksgiving Specials that were filed in late November of last year would have been in 2016. But, importantly, thus far in 2016 the success rate for motions to transfer has leaped again, to 57%. That's a 60% increase in the grant rate over just two years ago.
They conclude that the higher success rate is the result of better-supported motions, and not because the standard the Court has applied has changed - which I'd agree with. But I'd also note that as with rulings on 101 motions, motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment it also reflects the significant bubble of relatively weaker cases filed in 2014 and especially 2015 which largely dissipated locally after the eDekka 101 and 285 rulings around the end of last year and the beginning of this year. (More in this in real terms soon). Also, the standards for venue motions in patent cases filed in courts applying Fifth Circuit law have been pretty stable for several years now, so the variations aren't because the law has changed or was changing during the period, as I'd argue was the case in 2009-2012-ish.
In short, the variable wasn't the judges or the law - it was the quality of motions and the quality of the facts they were based on.