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Judge Sleet finds personal jurisdiction over ANDA defendant and denies motion to transfer

In Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. Inventia Healthcare PVT. Ltd., C.A. No. 15-632-GMS (D. Del. Sept. 22, 2015), Judge Gregory M. Sleet denied Defendant’s motion to dismiss due to lack of personal jurisdiction, as well as its motion to transfer the case to the Northern District of West Virginia in the alternative.

In finding that the Court had personal jurisdiction over this ANDA defendant, the Court cited its prior holding in AstraZeneca that “the act of filing an ANDA application that potentially infringes the patent of a Delaware entity provides sufficient minimum contacts with the State of Delaware under a specific jurisdiction analysis.” Id. at 2. The Court’s exercise of jurisdiction also did not violate the Due Process Clause, as Plaintiff “would be substantially burdened if forced to bring a lawsuit against any ANDA filer challenging the [patent-in-suit] in the location selected by the defendant.” Id. at 3 (citing AstraZeneca). “Thus, considerations of fair play and substantial justice also justify the exercise of jurisdiction.” Id.

As to Defendant’s alternative motion to transfer the case, the Court concluded that the Jumara factors did not favor transfer. Only Defendant’s forum choice weighed in favor of transfer, while questions of convenience all weighed against it: “[w]hile neither entity maintains a principal place of business in Delaware, Vanda is already involved in litigation regarding [the patent-in-suit] in this district. As a result, the witnesses are available here. [Defendant] fails to demonstrate that the Northern District of Western Virginia is a more convenient location.” Id. at 4. Plaintiff’s forum choice was neutral here, where it had brought suits both in this District and in the transferee district; as a result, “the ‘first-filed’ rule [that would favor this District] does not apply where the plaintiff brought identical suits to both districts.” Id. at 4.

The Court further found that the Jumara public interest factors weighed against transfer. Local interests were neutral in a patent infringement action, but “practical considerations weigh[ed] heavily against transfer” because Plaintiff had filed a related case in the District involving the same patent and drug. Id. “Thus, it would be easier, quicker, and less expensive to hear both cases here. Moreover, resolution of the issues relating to [the patent-in-suit] in a single district would promote judicial economy and avoid the possibility of inconsistent outcomes.” Id.

As a result, the Court denied the motion to discuss for lack of personal jurisdiction or to transfer in the alternative.


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