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Judge Sleet grants motion to transfer to Eastern District of Missouri

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In Endeavor Meshtech, Inc. v. Aclara Technologies LLC, C.A. No. 13-1618-GMS (D. Del. Feb. 25, 2015), Judge Gregory M. Sleet granted defendant’s (“Aclara”) motion to transfer to the Eastern District of Missouri. Judge Sleet found that Aclara satisfied its burden of showing that the relevant Jumara factors strongly support transfer. Only plaintiff’s (“Endeavor”) forum preference weighed against transfer, and, as the Judge Sleet explained, that preference did not warrant maximum deference in this case because of Endeavor’s minimal connection to the District of Delaware. See id. at 3-5. The remaining factors weighed strongly in favor of transfer or, at least, are neutral. For example, Judge Sleet found the factor of “whether the claims arose elsewhere” to slightly favor transfer, given that Aclara markets the accused products from its Missouri headquarters. See id. at 6. Additionally, even though Aclara’s operations were split between Missouri and Texas, Judge Sleet nevertheless found the “convenience of the parties” factor to favor transfer, noting that “the Eastern District of Missouri is certainly more convenient for Aclara.” Judge Sleet explained that it is “unwise and unfair ‘to subject all parties to an inconvenient forum when a forum exists that would significantly reduce the burden of at least one of the parties.’” Id. at 7-8 (emphasis added). Judge Sleet also found the “location of books and records factor” to weigh slightly in favor of transfer, even though some evidence may derive from Aclara’s Texas facility. See id. at 8-9. On balance, in the interests of convenience and justice, Judge Sleet found that transfer was warranted.

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