United States District Court, E.D. Texas, Marshall Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
PYNE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
design patent case, the Court will now consider
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal
Jurisdiction and Improper Venue, or, In the Alternative, to
Transfer [Dkt. # 10]. For the reasons set forth below, the
Court will GRANT Defendants' motion and
transfer this matter to the Central District of California
(Central California) pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
The Court will not address whether venue is proper or the
issue of personal jurisdiction.
November 22, 2016, Lifestyle Solutions, Inc. filed this
lawsuit against Abbyson Living LLC and Abbyson Living Corp.
Lifestyle's complaint alleges infringement of U.S. Design
Patent D610, 366, titled “Sofa Bed With Multiple
Positions.” The '366 Patent identifies Abedan
Kanthasamy of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia as the inventor and
Lifestyle as the assignee.
served Defendants on February 14, 2017. Summons [Dkt. # 6,
7]. In their first (and so far only) defensive move,
Defendants filed the present motion on April 7 challenging
personal jurisdiction, propriety of venue, and convenience of
venue. Defs.' Motion [Dkt. # 10]. Defendants have yet to
answer the Complaint.
the parties to this case is a Texas entity. Lifestyle is a
California corporation. Compl. [Dkt. # 1] ¶ 1. Abbyson
LLC is a Delaware limited liability company. Id.
¶ 2. Ab-byson Corp. is a Nevada corporation.
Lifestyle and Defendants are headquartered in California.
Lifestyle's principal place of business is in Fremont,
which is in the Northern District of California. Compl. [Dkt.
# 1] ¶ 1. Defendants share a headquarters in Moorpark,
which is in Central California. Rafieha Decl. (Apr. 7, 2017)
[Dkt. # 10-1] ¶ 2. Defendants also have showrooms in
Nevada and North Carolina, Abbyson's Website [Dkt. #
16-2] at B-3, but have no employees outside of Central
California. Rafieha Decl. (Apr. 7, 2017) [Dkt. # 10-1]
lease space at two distribution centers, both of which are in
Central California. Rafieha Decl. (Apr. 7, 2017) [Dkt. #
10-1] ¶¶ 3-4. These distribution centers are owned
by Weber Logistics, which is headquartered in Central
California, and Updike Distribution Logistics, which is
headquartered in Phoenix. Johnson Decl. (Apr. 7, 2017) [Dkt.
# 10-2] ¶¶ 5-6. All of Abbyson's products sold
and shipped in the United States are housed at either
Abbyson's headquarters in Moorpark or at one of the
third-party distribution centers. Rafieha Decl. (Apr. 7,
2017) [Dkt. # 10-1] ¶ 4.
do not sell their products directly to consumers, but instead
offer products through third-party retailer websites.
Id. ¶ 17. When an Abbyson product is purchased
through a third-party retailer's website, the retailer
arranges for a shipper to retrieve the purchased product from
one of the California distribution centers and ship it to the
of whether the plaintiff's chosen venue is proper,
“[f]or the convenience of parties and witnesses, in the
interest of justice, a district court may transfer any civil
action to another district court or division where it might
have been brought.” 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). A court
should grant a motion to transfer under § 1404(a) if the
transferee venue is clearly more convenient than the
plaintiff's chosen venue. In re Volkswagen, 545
F.3d 304, 315 (5th Cir. 2008) (en banc).
Fifth Circuit applies the “public” and
“private” factors for determining forum non
conveniens when deciding a § 1404(a) question.
In re Volkswagen, 545 F.3d at 314 n.9. The
“private” interest factors include: (1) the
relative ease of access to sources of proof; (2) the
availability of compulsory process to secure the attendance
of witnesses; (3) the cost of attendance for willing
witnesses; and (4) all other practical problems that make a
trial easy, expeditious, and inexpensive. Piper Aircraft
Co. v. Reyno, 454 U.S. 235, 241 n.6 (1981). The
“public” interest factors are: “(1) the
administrative difficulties flowing from court congestion;
(2) the local interest in having localized interests decided
at home; (3) the familiarity of the forum with the law that
will govern the case; and (4) the avoidance of unnecessary
problems of conflicts of laws [or in] the application of
foreign law.” In re Volkswagen, 545 F.3d at
plaintiff's choice of venue is not a factor in this
analysis. Id. at 314-15; id. at 314 n.10.
Instead, the plaintiff's choice of venue contributes to
the defendant's burden in proving the transferee venue is
“clearly more convenient” than the transferor
venue. Id. at 315; In re Nintendo Co., 589
F.3d 1194, 1200 (Fed. Cir. 2009). And though the private and
public factors apply to most transfer cases, they are not
exhaustive or exclusive and no single factor is dispositive.
In re Volkswagen, 545 F.3d at 315.
to transfer venue are to be decided based on ‘the
situation which existed when suit was instituted.'”
In re EMC Corp., 501 Fed.Appx. 973, 976 (Fed. Cir.
2013) (quoting Hoffman v. Blaski, 363 U.S. 335, 343
Whether this case could have been brought in the Central