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Judge Sleet grants motion to transfer to Northern District of California

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In Williamson v. Google Inc., C.A. No. 14-216-GMS (D. Del. Mar. 2, 2015), Judge Gregory M. Sleet granted Google’s motion to transfer to the Northern District of California. Judge Sleet noted that “Williamson is not at home in Delaware, and therefore his choice is ‘entitled to less deference.’”  Id. at 2.  On the other hand, as Judge Sleet noted, Google “has legitimate reasons for seeking to litigate” in the Northern District of California, as its principal place of business is in Mountain View, California. According to Judge Sleet, Google’s choice was therefore entitled to “some—but not overriding—deference.”  Id. at 2-3. Further, considering Google’s logistics  and the fact that  Williamson would be required to travel in any case, Judge Sleet found the Northern District of California to be “more convenient” to the parties.  Id. at 3. Considering “where the claims arose,” Judge Sleet explained that “Google designed and developed the accused AdSense product in Mountain View; Google continues to develop and market AdSense from that location. Therefore the infringement claims have ‘deeper roots’ in the Northern District of California than in the District of Delaware.”  Addressing non-party witnesses, Judge Sleet noted that Google argued “its invalidity contentions may rely on testimony from founders or inventors at . . . companies . . . who would not be subject to Delaware’s subpoena power.” Id. at 5. On balance, Judge Sleet found that the Jumara factors as a whole weighed in favor of transfer.

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