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Videoshare, LLC v. Google Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

April 1, 2014

VIDEOSHARE, LLC, Plaintiff/Counterclaim Defendant,
v.
GOOGLE INC. and YOUTUBE LLC, Defendants/Counterclaim Plaintiffs. VIDEOSHARE, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
VIDDLER, INC. Defendant. VIDEOSHARE, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
VIMEO, LLC Defendant.

MEMORANDUM

GREGORY M. SLEET, District Judge.

I. INTRODUCTION

On June 4, 2013, the plaintiff VideoShare, LLC ("VideoShare") filed actions against Google Inc. ("Google"), YouTube, LLC ("YouTube"), Viddler, Inc. ("Viddler"), and Vimeo, LLC ("Vimeo") (collectively, "the defendants") alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8, 438, 608 ("the '608 patent").[1] On June 26, 2013, VideoShare filed amended complaints against Google and YouTube, (Google, D.I. 7), and against Viddler, (Viddler, D.I. 10), asserting infringement of U.S. Patent No. 8, 464, 302 ("the '302 patent"). Presently before the court are the defendants' Motions to Transfer to the District of Massachusetts pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) and Stay Pending Disposition of the Transfer Motions. ( Google, D.I. 13; Viddler, D.I. 15; Vimeo, D.I. 10.) For the reasons that follow, the court will deny the defendants' motions.

II. BACKGROUND

Video Share is a Delaware limited liability company with its principal place of business in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts. (Google, D.I. 7, ¶ 4.) Google is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Mountain View, California. ( Id., ¶ 5.) YouTube is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Google and a Delaware limited liability company with its principal place of business in San Bruno, California. ( Id., ¶ 6.) Viddler is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. ( Viddler, D.I. 10, ¶ 5.) Vimeo is a Delaware limited liability company with its principal place of business is in New York, New York. ( Vimeo, D.I. 1, ¶ 5.)

The '302 and '608 patents (collectively, "the patents-in-suit") relate to systems and methods for sharing a streaming video over a computer network. VideoShare alleges that the defendants' products and services for receiving, converting, and sharing streaming video infringe the patents-in-suit. ( Google, D.I. 7; Viddler, D.I. 10; Vimeo, D.I. 1.)

III. STANDARD OF REVIEW

"For 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 purpose of transfer is to protect litigants, witnesses, and the public from the unnecessary waste of time, energy, and money. See Virgin Wireless, Inc. v. Virgin Enters. Ltd., 201 F.Supp.2d 294, 299 (D. Del. 2002) (citing Van Dusen v. Barrack, 376 U.S. 612, 616 (1964)).

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).

IV. DISCUSSION

A. The Propriety of the Transferee Forum

The parties do not dispute that the present action could have been brought in the District of Massachusetts - VideoShare resides in Massachusetts, and all of the defendants provide services nationally and thus, perform the allegedly infringing activities in that district. See 28 U.S.C. §§ 1338(a) and 1400(b); ( Google, D.I. 14 at 7; Viddler, D.I. 16 at 3-4; Vimeo, D.I. 11 at 5.) Accordingly, the court proceeds to the second step of the transfer analysis.

B. The Jumera Analysis

The court next must consider whether transfer to the District of Massachusetts would serve the interests of convenience and justice. In the Third Circuit, this requires an individualized analysis, accounting for the various private and public interests guarded by § 1404(a). See Jumara, 55 F.3d at 879. The court, rather than applying any "definitive formula, " considers each of these " Jumara factors" on a case-by-case basis. See id. The private interests may include:

plaintiff's 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 ...

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