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Judge Sleet denies motion to transfer ANDA case to North Carolina

In Cornerstone Therapeutics Inc., et al. v. Exela Pharma Sciences, LLC, et al., C.A. No. 13-1275-GMS (June 16, 2014), Chief Judge Gregory M. Sleet denied the defendants’ motion to transfer to the Western District of North Carolina.

Examining the Jumara factors, the Court explained that plaintiff’s forum choice was “not entitled to the usual paramount deference because none of the plaintiffs are physically located in Delaware,” although their forum choice was still entitled to greater weight than that of defendants.  Id. at 2.  As this is an ANDA case, where the claim arose was governed by “where the ANDA submission was submitted;” here that was North Carolina so this factor weighed in favor of transfer.  Id. at 2-3 However, given that most of the defendants were incorporated in Delaware, convenience of the parties weighed against transfer, as did the location of books and records and the convenience of witnesses where defendants did not show why the evidence and witnesses could not come to Delaware.  Id. at 3.

As to the public interest factors, the Court was not persuaded by defendants’ arguments regarding “the convenience of undisclosed witnesses” and “the congestion of the docket in Delaware.  Although the number of cases per judge and time to trial are greater in Delaware, it is undisputed that Delaware judges have much greater familiarity with patent cases by virtue of their patent-heavy dockets,” which would allow for administrative efficiencies.  Id. at 4.

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