Judge Andrews denies motion to transfer venue where both parties were incorporated in Delaware
Judge Richard G. Andrews recently denied defendant’s motion to transfer venue to the Northern District of California in this patent infringement action. Round Rock Research, LLC v. Dell, Inc., C.A. No. 11-976-RGA (D. Del. Nov. 15, 2012). Plaintiff was a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in New York. Defendant was also a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Texas. Id. at 3. Judge Andrews found that defendant’s forum preference favored transfer because it had business operations in the Northern District of California, but concluded that all other Jumara factors were either neutral, inapplicable, or only “marginally” favored transfer. Id. at 5-6. As to the public policies of the fora, the Court observed that while Delaware’s public policy favors litigation of business disputes there, “this factor significantly overlaps with why Plaintiff would have chosen Delaware as a venue in the first place” and it afforded this factor no additional weight. Id. at 7.
The Court also considered the fact that plaintiff had sued other computer manufacturers in Delaware and at least one of the patents in this case is asserted in pending litigation in the Northern District of California. Id. at 8. While the Court found this “a legitimate concern” especially if the Court “already had some experience with the patents,” it concluded that this factor was neutral because the cases were in their early stages and judges in California were “in about the same situation.” Id.
Judge Andrews considered and distinguished In re Link_A_Media Devices Corp., 662 F.3d 1221 (Fed. Cir. 2011), in which the Federal Circuit ordered transfer when only one party was a Delaware corporation and both parties were “effectively” principally based in the proposed transferee district. Here, both parties were Delaware corporations and neither corporation was principally based in the proposed transferee district. Id.