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Wiremed Tech LLC v. Adobe Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

May 24, 2019

WIREMED TECH LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
ADOBE INC., Defendant.

          Stamatios Stamoulis, Stamoulis & Weinblatt LLC, Wilmington, DE; David R. Bennett Direction IP Law, Chicago, IL - Attorneys for Plaintiff

          Kelly E. Farnan, Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A., Wilmington, DE - Attorney for Defendant

          MEMORANDUM OPINION

          NOREIKA, U.S. DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is Defendant Adobe Inc.'s (“Defendant” or “Adobe”) Motion to Transfer Venue Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) to the Western District of Washington. (D.I. 11). Plaintiff Wiremed Tech LLC (“Plaintiff or “Wiremed”) opposes transfer. (D.I. 18). For the reasons set forth below, Adobe's motion is denied.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Wiremed is a Texas limited liability company with a principal place of business in Texas. (D.I. 1 ¶ 1). Adobe is a Delaware corporation with a principal place of business in California. (Id. ¶ 2). Wiremed initiated this action on July 18, 2018, alleging that Adobe's Character Animator infringes U.S. Patent Nos. 6, 331, 864 and 6, 944, 825. (Id. ¶¶ 28, 42). Adobe's Character Animator “is an animation application that combines live motion-capture with a multi-track recording system to control layered 2D puppets drawn in Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator.” (D.I. 13 ¶ 3). Adobe moves to transfer this action to the Western District of Washington where the Character Animator application was primarily designed and developed by a team based in Adobe's Seattle, Washington office. (Id. ¶ 4).

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         District courts have the authority to transfer venue “[f]or the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the interests of justice, . . . to any other district or division where it might have been brought.” 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). However, “[a] plaintiff, as the injured party, generally ha[s] been ‘accorded [the] privilege of bringing an action where he chooses, '” Helicos Biosciences Corp. v. Illumina, Inc., 858 F.Supp.2d 367, 371 (D. Del. 2012) (quoting Norwood v. Kirkpatrick, 349 U.S. 29, 31 (1955)), and this choice “should not be lightly disturbed, ” Jumara v. State Farm Ins. Co., 55 F.3d 873, 879 (3d Cir. 1995).

         The Third Circuit has recognized that:

“[i]n ruling on § 1404(a) motions, courts have not limited their consideration to the three enumerated factors in § 1404(a) (convenience of parties, convenience of witnesses, or interests of justice), and, indeed, commentators have called on the courts to ‘consider all relevant factors to determine whether on balance 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 (citation omitted). The Jumara court went on to describe twelve (12) “private and public interests protected by the language of § 1404(a).” Id. The private interests 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 records (similarly limited to the extent that the files could not be produced in the alternative forum).”

Id. at 879 (citations omitted). The public interests 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 familiarity of the trial judge with the applicable state law in diversity cases.”

Id. at 879-80.

         The party seeking transfer bears the burden “to establish that a balancing of proper interests weigh[s] in favor of transfer.” Shutte v. Armco Steel Corp., 431 F.2d 22, 25 (3d Cir. 1970). Moreover, though courts have “broad discretion to determine, on an individualized, case-by-case basis, whether convenience and fairness considerations weigh in favor of transfer, ” Jumara, 55 F.3d at 883, the Third Circuit has held that “unless the balance of convenience of the parties is strongly in favor of [the] defendant, the plaintiff's choice of forum should prevail.” Shutte, 431 F.2d at 25.

         III. ...


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