United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina
VENSON M. SHAW and STEVEN M. SHAW, Plaintiffs,
APPLE, INC., Defendant.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
S. Cayer United States Magistrate Judge
MATTER is before the Court on “Defendant Apple
Inc.'s Motion to Transfer to the Northern District of
California” (document #46), as well as the parties'
associated briefs and exhibits.
matter has been referred to the undersigned Magistrate Judge
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1) and is now ripe for
consideration. Having fully considered the arguments, the
record, and the applicable authority, the Court
grants Defendant's Motion as discussed below.
FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
Venson M. Shaw and Steven M. Shaw allege that Defendant
Apple, Inc. infringed their patent (“the '241
patent”). The accused products are those
“incorporating CCD [Charge-Coupled Device] and/or CMOS
[Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor] imaging sensors,
” including iPhone models, iPod Nano, iPod Touch, iMac
models with iSight or Facetime cameras, MacBook and MacBook
Air models with iSight or Facetime cameras, and iPad models
with front and/or rear cameras (collectively, “the
accused products”). Plaintiffs initially alleged
infringement by certain Sony products, but have now
voluntarily dismissed the Sony Defendants. See
documents ## 12, 21 and 57.
has moved pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) to transfer
this matter to the United States District Court for the
Northern District of California for the convenience of the
parties and witnesses and in the interests of justice. In
support of its Motion, Defendant credibly states that all
research, design, and development of the accused products
took place at or near its headquarters in the Northern
District of California. Defendant's witnesses and all
business records relating to the research, design,
development, marketing and sales of the accused products are
also located there. Relevant evidence in the possession of
third parties is located in the Northern District of
California and Colorado, but not in North Carolina.
undisputed that Plaintiffs have no ties to North Carolina.
Plaintiffs Venson M. Shaw and Steven M. Shaw reside in
Kirkland, Washington and Leonia, New Jersey respectively.
Plaintiffs do not allege that they have any relevant evidence
in this District. Nor do they allege that they have
developed, marketed, or otherwise licensed any products
claimed by the '241 patent here.
their brief in opposition, Plaintiffs state that they
selected this venue “purposefully … for counsel
licensure and for proper venue based on [the presence in this
District of] multiple [Apple] stores and a data
center.” Document #59 at 10. In essence, Plaintiffs
chose this forum because their attorney is licensed here.
Plaintiffs also argue that they may retain expert witnesses
Motion to Transfer Venue has been fully briefed and is ripe
28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), a district court may “[f]or
the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of
justice, ... transfer any civil action to any other district
or division where it might have been brought.” The
question of transfer under section 1404(a) is committed to
the sound discretion of the district court. See Stewart
Org., Inc. v. Ricoh Corp., 487 U.S. 22, 29 (1988);
Brock v. Entre Computer Ctrs., Inc., 933 F.2d 1253,
1257 (4th Cir.1991).
Court must first determine whether the case could have been
brought in the transferee district. Venue is proper in a
patent infringement action “in the judicial district
where the defendant resides, or where the defendant has
committed acts of infringement and has a regular and
established place of business.” 28 U.S.C. §
1400(b). Venue is proper in the Northern District of
California under 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b) because
Defendant's headquarters is located there and the sensors
which are the subject of this infringement action were
venue in the transferee court is proper, as it is here, the
Court must then consider the following factors in deciding
whether the matter should be transferred:
(1) the plaintiff's initial choice of forum; (2) the
residence of the parties; (3) the relative ease of access of
proof; (4) the availability of compulsory process for
attendance of witnesses and the costs of obtaining attendance
of willing witnesses; (5) the possibility of a view; (6) the
enforceability of a judgment, if obtained; (7) the relative
advantages and obstacles to a fair trial; (8) other practical
problems that make a trial easy, expeditious, and
inexpensive; (9) the administrative difficulties of court
congestion; (10) the interest in having localized
controversies settled at home and the appropriateness in
having the trial ...