United States District Court, D. Delaware
Wilmington this 29th day of March, 2017, having reviewed the
pending motion to transfer venue and the papers submitted in
ORDERED that said motion (D.I. 10) is denied, for the reasons
Background. Plaintiff Godo Kaisha IP Bridge 1 ("IP
Bridge") is a Japanese corporation having its principal
place of business in Tokyo, Japan. By complaint filed on
April 22, 2016, IP Bridge sued defendant OmniVision
Technologies, Inc. ("OmniVision") for infringement
often patents that relate to image sensor technology. (D.I.
1, exs. A-J) With its answer to the complaint, OmniVision
filed the instant motion for transfer of venue to the
Northern District of California.
OmniVision is incorporated in the State of Delaware, with all
of the attendant privileges and responsibilities of a citizen
of this State (i.e., maintaining an agent, paying taxes,
suing and being sued in the courts of this State, choosing
Delaware law as the governing law in
contracts). The headquarters for OmniVision are
located in the Northern District of California and operate as
its strategic center of business. Although the majority of
the development of the accused image sensor products took
place at OmniVision's headquarters, it outsources its
wafer fabrication to manufacturers in Taiwan and China.
According to its website, OmniVision was founded in 1995 and
"develops and delivers advanced imaging solutions to a
variety of industrial and consumer markets." OmniVision
Technologies, http://www.ovt.com, (last visited Mar.
28, 2017). A review of the website, along with the financial
information provided in the record,  can leave no doubt that
OmniVision is an international business, and that Delaware
has not been excluded as a market.
Standard. The analytical framework for motions to transfer
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) are well known and will
not be repeated here. See, e.g., In re LinkA Media
Devices Corp., 662 F.3d 1221 (Fed. Cir. 2011);
Jumara v. State Farm Ins. Co., 55 F.3d 873 (3d Cir.
1995); Helico Biosciences Corp. v. Illumina, Inc.,
858 F.Supp.2d 367 (D. Del. 2012). I have gleaned the
following from the above case law: A plaintiff, as the
injured party, has the privilege of initiating its litigation
in the forum it chooses. A defendant's place of
incorporation is always an appropriate forum in which to sue
that defendant. The purpose of § 1404(a) is not to usurp
plaintiff's choice, but to give courts the discretion to
transfer if the interests of justice so dictate. The Third
Circuit in Jumara gave the courts some factors to
balance in making their determination, keeping the above
tenets in mind. As I have stated many times before, the
Jumara factors must be viewed through a contemporary
lens. In this regard, I have declined to transfer based on
the location of potential witnesses and of books and records,
as discovery is a local event and trial is a limited
event. With respect to the factor related to
"administrative difficulty from court congestion, "
the case management orders always start with the schedules
proposed by the litigants. It has been my experience that
most litigators (especially those representing defendants)
are in no hurry to resolve the dispute; if there is a need to
expedite proceedings, that need is generally accommodated by
the court. In sum, these factors are neutral.
Analysis. It should be evident from my prior decisions that
motions to transfer are generally denied in my cases, so long
as at least two evidentiary bases are established: defendant
is a Delaware corporation or limited liability company (i.e.,
it has accepted the benefits of organizing under the laws of
the State of Delaware), and it does business on a national
scale, including in Delaware. See, e.g., Cradle IP, LLC
v. Tex. Instruments, Inc., 923 F.Supp.2d 696 (D. Del.
2013); Scientific Telecommunications, LLC v. Adtran,
Inc. 2016 WL 1650760 (D. Del. April 25, 2016).
instant case more than satisfies these two requirements. As a
business player in the world's markets, there is no undue
burden associated with litigating in Delaware. Moreover,
given its international imprint and the national implications
of patent litigation - constitutional rights reviewed first
by a federal agency and ultimately by a national, not
regional, court of appeals - there are no parochial interests
that justify transfer. Transfer of the above-captioned case
to the United States District Court for the Northern District
of California, therefore, does not serve the interests of
justice. OmniVision's motion to transfer is denied.
See D.I. 23, ex. A.
See D.I. 23, ex. D, the cover
letter accompanying the 2015 Annual Report, wherein it is
reported that OmniVision had annual 2015 revenues of $1.4
billion and more than $520 million in cash or cash
At the time of briefing, OmniVision did
not know whether it had sold or offered the accused image
sensor products for sale in Delaware. (D.I. 23, ex.
depositions generally are taken where
the deponents reside, and books and records generally are
kept in a digital format and easily transferable. To the
extent that a defendant's books and records are still
kept in "physical form" (hard to believe in this
day and age), it would be a plaintiff's burden to travel
for an inspection and/or to pay for copies.
Not only are my trials timed events
but, according to some scholars, "more than 97% of
patent suits are settled before trial, " Morgan, Paul,
Microsoft v. i4i - Is the Sky Really Falling?,
PatentlyO (Jan. 9, 2011), a figure consistent with national
statistics about civil suits in general, Denlow, Morton, Hon.
Ret., Magistrate Judges' IMportant Role in Settling
Cases, The Federal Lawyer, 101 (May/June 2014) ...