Judge Farnan: Another Motion to Transfer Denied
In Personalized User Model LLP v. Google, Inc., C.A. No. 09-525-JJF (D. Del. Oct. 27, 2009), Judge Farnan issued an opinion on a motion by defendant Google to transfer a pending patent infringement suit to the Norther District of California (its home state) under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
The opinion implicitly criticized the current state of Third Circuit law on § 1404(a) motions to transfer. According to the Court, "1404(a) is not complicated," and lays out three "simple, straightforward principles." Id. at 2. But "[i]n the Third Circuit, district courts are required to analyze and weigh a set of eleven (11) private/public factors." Id. The Court analyzed each of the 11 factors, listing in four pages of tables each party's arguments and the Court's conclusions. The Court ultimately denied the motion to transfer under the 11 factors, noting that "[i]nterestingly, the Court would reach the same conclusion by applying the three principles of Section 1404(a) without the enhanced analysis required by the eleven private/public factors of the case law." Id. at 7-8.
As it has in the past, the Court rejected arguments regarding the location of witnesses and documents. Id. at 4, 6. Among the Court's findings on each of the 11 factors, the Court noted that "[t]here are no significant public efficiency" or "public policy" differences between the District of Delaware and the Northern District of California, and that "[p]atent cases are national cases and seldom open to a local interest analysis." Id. at 6-7. The Court made no indication that it plans to start granting motions to transfer any time soon; when a patent plaintiff files a case in Delaware, it stays in Delaware.