United States District Court, D. Delaware
GOOD TECHNOLOGY CORPORATION and GOOD TECHNOLOGY SOFTWARE, INC., Plaintiffs,
MOBILEIRON, INC., Defendant.
CHRISTOPHER J. BURKE, Magistrate Judge.
Pending before the Court in this patent infringement case is Defendant Mobilelron, Inc.'s ("Defendant" or "Mobilelron") Motion to Transfer Venue (the "Motion") to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California ("Northern District of California"). (D.I. 22) For the reasons that follow, the Court orders that Defendant's Motion be GRANTED.
A. Procedural Background
Plaintiffs Good Technology Corporation and Good Technology Software, Inc. (collectively, "Plaintiffs" or "Good") filed the instant case on October 14, 2014, alleging that Defendant infringed United States Patent No. 8, 117, 344 (the "'344 patent"). (D.I. 1) Defendant answered on October 29, 2014, asserting, inter alia, counterclaims of infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 8, 869, 307 (the "'307 patent") and 8, 340, 633 (the "'633 patent"). (DJ. 7) On October 27, 2014, Chief Judge Leonard P. Stark referred the instant case to this Court to resolve any and all matters with regard to scheduling, as well as any motions to dismiss, stay and/or transfer venue. (D.I. 6) Defendant filed the instant Motion on January 9, 2015, (D.I. 22), and briefing on the Motion was completed on February 5, 2015, (D.I. 32). The Court subsequently held a Case Management Conference on February 9, 2015, and entered a Scheduling Order thereafter. (D.I. 36) Trial in the case is scheduled for March 13, 2017. ( Id. )
B. Additional Relevant Facts Regarding the Motion
Plaintiffs are Delaware corporations with their principal place of business in Sunnyvale, California, which is located in the Northern District of California. (D.I. 1 at¶ 8) Their business is in the area of mobile data and device management, and they develop and market solutions to improve users' experiences on remote devices and provide a secure environment for users to access sensitive business and personal data. (Id. at¶¶ 2-3) Defendant is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Mountain View, California, also located in the Northern District of California. (Id. at¶ 9; D.I. 7 at¶ 9) It provides solutions that enable enterprise information technology managers to manage and secure their employees' mobile devices, as well as mobile applications and content. (D.I. 7 at¶ 14)
The parties are also involved in an additional litigation matter in the Northern District of California, before United States Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal (the "California Action"). See Good Tech. Corp. et al. v. Mobilelron, Inc., Civil Action No. 5:12-cv-05826-PSG (N.D. Cal.). In the California Action, Good filed suit against Mobilelron in November 2012, alleging infringement of four patents: U.S. Patent Nos. 6, 151, 606 (the "'606 patent"), 7, 702, 322 (the "'322 patent"), 7, 970, 386 (the "'386 patent"), 8, 012, 219 (the "'219 patent"); in the same case, Mobilelron asserts one patent, U.S. Patent No. 8, 359, 016 (the "'016 patent"). (California Action, D.I. 32, 41) Judge Grewal issued claim construction rulings on October 13, 2014, discovery closed on December 19, 2014 and trial is scheduled for July 27, 2015. (California Action, D.I. 135, 158)
A. Legal Standard
Section 1404(a) of Title 28 provides the statutory basis for a transfer inquiry. It provides that "[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). The party seeking a transfer has the burden "to establish that a balancing of proper interests weigh[s] in favor of the transfer[.]" Shutte v. Armco Steel Corp., 431 F.2d 22, 25 (3d Cir. 1970) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted); see also Jumara v. State Farm Ins. Co., 55 F.3d 873, 879 (3d Cir. 1995). That burden is a heavy one: "unless the balance of convenience of the parties is strongly in favor of defendant, the plaintiffs choice of forum should prevail." Shutte, 431 F.2d at 25 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted) (emphasis added); see also CNH Am. LLC v. Kinzenbaw, C.A. No. 08-945 (GMS), 2009 WL 3737653, at *2 (D. Del. Nov. 9, 2009).
The Third Circuit has observed that courts must analyze "all relevant factors" to determine whether "the litigation would more conveniently proceed and the interests of justice be better served by transfer to a different forum." Jumara, 55 F.3d at 879 (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Nevertheless, it has identified a set of private interest and public interest factors that should be taken into account in this analysis (the "Jumara factors"). The private interest factors to consider include:
 [The] 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). The public interest factors to consider include:
 [T]he 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 familiarity of the trial judge with the applicable state law in diversity cases.
Id. at 879-80 (citations omitted).
The Court will proceed to analyze the Jumara factors and their impact on whether transfer should be granted.
1. Appropriateness of Transferee Venue
The first step in the transfer analysis is to determine whether this action could have been brought in the proposed transferee venue. "The party moving for transfer bears the burden of proving that the action properly could have been brought in the transferee district in the first instance." Mallinckrodt Inc. v. E-Z-Em Inc., 670 F.Supp.2d 349, 356 (D. Del. 2009) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). Here, there can be no dispute that this infringement action could have been properly ...