VERINT SYSTEMS INC. and VERINT AMERICAS INC., Plaintiff,
CALLCOPY INC., Defendant.
Gregory M. Sleet, Chief District Judge.
On April 8, 2013, the plaintiffs Verint Systems Inc. ("VSI") and Verint Americas Inc. ("VAI") (collectively, "Verint") initiated this action against the defendant CallCopy, Inc. ("CallCopy") alleging that eight (8) CallCopy products (collectively, the "Accused Products") infringe one or more of fifteen (15) identified patents (collectively, the "patents-in-suit"). (D.I. 1.) On July 25, 2013, Verint filed an amended complaint withdrawing infringement allegations for three (3) of the originally identified patents. (D.I. 21.) Presently before the court is CallCopy's Motion to Transfer to the Southern District of Ohio pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). (D.I. 7.) For the reasons that follow, the court will grant the motion.
VSI is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Melville, New York. (D.I. 1 at ¶ 1.) VAI is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Roswell, Georgia. ( Id. at ¶ 2.) VAI is the owner of the patents-in-suit (D.I. 9 at 2.), and is a wholly owned subsidiary of VSI. (D.I. 1 at ¶ 1.) CallCopy is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Columbus, Ohio. ( Id. at ¶ 3.)
The patents-in-suit are generally related to the analysis, recording, monitoring, transmission, and/or security of electronic communications. ( Id. at ¶ 5.) Verint alleges that CallCopy has infringed and continues to infringe the patents-in-suit by manufacturing, using, selling, offering to sell, installing, distributing, exporting, and/or importing the Accused Products. ( Id. at ¶ 8.) On April 18, 2013, CallCopy filed a motion to transfer venue to the Southern District of Ohio. (D.I. 7.)
III. STANDARD OF REVIEW
Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), "[f]or the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interest of justice, a district court may transfer any civil action to any other district or division where it might have been brought or to any district or division to which all parties have consented." 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Under this provision, a district court may exercise "broad discretion to determine, on an individualized, case-by-case basis, whether convenience and fairness considerations weigh in favor of transfer." Jumara v. State Farm Ins. Co., 55 F.3d 873, 883 (3d Cir. 1995).
The court undertakes a two-step inquiry in order to resolve a motion to transfer. "The court first asks whether the action could have been brought in the proposed transferee venue and then determines whether transfer to a different forum would best serve the interests of justice and convenience." Smart Audio Techs., L.L.C. v. Apple, Inc., 910 F.Supp.2d 718, 724 (D. Del. 2012). At each step, the defendant has the burden to demonstrate that a transfer is appropriate, Jumara, 55 F.3d at 879-80, and "unless the balance of convenience of the parties is strongly in favor of the defendant, the plaintiffs choice of forum should prevail." Shutte v. Armco Steel Corp., 431 F.2d 22, 25 (3d Cir. 1970).
With regard to the second step of the inquiry, where court considers whether the litigation would more conveniently proceed and the interests of justice be better served by transferring the case, the Third Circuit has instructed district courts to look to the various private and public interests protected by § 1404(a) rather than to any "definitive formula." Jumara, 55 F.3d at 879. The private interests may include:
plaintiffs forum preference as manifested in the original choice; the defendant's preference; whether the claim arose elsewhere; the convenience of the parties as indicated by their relative physical and financial condition; the convenience of the witnesses - but only to the extent that the witnesses may actually be unavailable for trial in one of the fora; and the location of books and records (similarly limited to the extent that the files could not be produced in the alternative forum).
Id. (citations omitted). And the public interests may include:
the enforceability of the judgment: practical considerations that could make the trial easy, expeditious, or inexpensive; the relative administrative difficulty in the two fora resulting from court congestion; the local interest in deciding local controversies at home; the public policies of the fora; and the ...