Chief Judge Gregory M. Sleet has denied motions to transfer to the District of Massachussetts in a number of related patent infringement actions. Videoshare, LLC v. Google Inc, et al., C.A. No. 13-990-GMS; Videoshare, LLC v. Viddler, Inc., C.A. No. 13-991-GMS; Videoshare, LLC v. Vimeo, LLC, C.A. No. 13-992-GMS (D. Del. Apr. 1, 2014).
Plaintiff was a Delaware company with its principal place of business in Massachusetts. Each defendant was also a Delaware company with principal places of business in California, Pennsylvania, and New York. Id. at 2.
Applying the Jumara factors, the Court concluded that “only the defendants’ forum preference counseled transfer, and that factor is eclipsed by [plaintiff’s] forum choice, which was afforded a degree of heightened deference.” Id. at 13. The remaining factors either weighed in favor of transfer or were neutral. Of particular interest in the Jumara analysis was the “unusual scenario” presented as to the convenience of the parties: “the parties’ respective headquarters are physically located further from their preferred forum than the opposed forum. As such, the court does not need to deeply analyze the associated logistical and operational costs, or the parties’ ability to bear those costs, because the parties are willing to travel a further distance to litigate in their preferred forum. Stated differently, none of the parties can make a colorable argument that it would be ‘inconvenient’ to litigate closer to home.” Id. at 9. The location of the parties’ books and records was also neutral because the “bulk of relevant evidence was not located in either forum.” Id. at 10. Additionally, while the plaintiff had previously sued one of the defendants in Massachusetts regarding the same claimed technology, that case had been dismissed on procedural grounds. Id. at 6. The Court therefore concluded that the potential efficiency of transferring these cases was only marginal as the Massachusetts court did not gain familiarity with the merits of the underlying patented technology. Id. at 6-7, 11.