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Gametek LLC v. Electronic Arts Inc.

United States District Court, Ninth Circuit

July 23, 2013

GAMETEK LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
ELECTRONIC ARTS INC. D/B/A EA INTERACTIVE D/B/A PLAYFISH [Docket D/B/A POGO GAMES, Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO TRANSFER VENUE TO THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA [Docket No. 31].

ROGER T. BENITEZ, District Judge.

Presently before the Court is Defendant Electronic Arts Inc. d/b/a EA Interactive d/b/a Playfish d/b/a Pogo Games' Motion to Transfer Venue to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. (Docket No. 31.) For the reasons stated below, the Motion is GRANTED.

BACKGROUND

Electronic Arts Inc. d/b/a EA Interactive d/b/a Playfish d/b/a Pogo Games ("EA") is a Delaware corporation, which has its headquarters and principal place of business in Redwood City, California. (Evans Decl. ¶ 4.) GameTek LLC is a limited liability company with its sole office in Newport Beach, California. (Haynes Decl. ¶ 2.) GameTek filed a Complaint against EA on December 10, 2012, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 7, 076, 445 (the 445 Patent). (Docket No. 1.)

DISCUSSION

"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). In deciding whether to transfer an action under § 1404(a), a court must determine: (1) whether the transferee district is a district in which the action "might have been brought, " and (2) whether the action should be transferred for purposes of convenience, judicial economy, or in the interest of justice. Van Dusen v. Barrack, 376 U.S. 612, 616 (1964).

I. WHERE THE ACTION "MIGHT HAVE BEEN BROUGHT"

The parties agree that the present suit might have been brought in the Northern District of California. (Mot. at 8; Opp. at 7.)

II. CONVENIENCE, JUDICIAL ECONOMY, AND THE INTEREST OF JUSTICE

Next, the Court must determine whether the "convenience of the parties and witnesses" and the "interest of justice" compel transferring venue. Factors relevant to that determination include:

(1) the plaintiff's choice of forum, (2) convenience to the parties, (3) convenience to the witnesses, (4) ease of access to the evidence, (5) familiarity of each forum with the applicable law, (6) the feasability of consolidation with and relationship to other claims, (7) any local interest in the controversy, and (8) the relative court congestion and time of trial in each forum.

Albertson v. Monumental Life Ins. Co., No. C-08-05441, 2009 WL 3870301, at *1 (N.D. Cal. Nov. 16, 2009) (citing Jones v. GNC Franchising, Inc., 211 F.3d 495, 498-99 (9th Cir. 2000)).

A. Plaintiff's Choice of Forum

GameTek's choice of the Southern District as the forum is entitled to deference. However, courts have held that when a plaintiff brings suit in a jurisdiction that is not its location of residence and lacks significant connection to the alleged infringement, the deference is substantially reduced. See Inherent v. Martindale-Hubbell, 420 F.Supp.2d 1093, 1100 (N.D. Cal. 2006). GameTek is not located in the Southern District, and this forum lacks significant connection to the alleged infringement involving EA. Therefore, while there is ...


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