United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO TRANSFER VENUE TO THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA [Re Docket No. 151]
RONALD M. WHYTE, District Judge.
Defendants j2 Global, Inc. and Advanced Messaging Technologies, Inc. (collectively "defendants" or "j2") move to transfer venue to the Central District of California ("MTT"). Dkt. No. 151. Defendants also move to transfer related action j2 Global, Inc. v. Integrated Global Concepts, Inc., Case No. 13-2971, (N.D. Cal. filed June 27, 2013) ("Case No. 13-2971") to the Central District of California.
Having considered the papers submitted by the parties and their arguments, for the reasons set forth below, the court GRANTS defendants' motion to transfer venue to the Central District of California.
On April 20, 2012, j2 filed patent infringement claims in the Central District of California alleging IGC infringed U.S. Patent Nos.6, 208, 638, 6, 597, 688, 7, 020, 132, and 6, 350, 066 patents ("3434 patents"). Declaration of Edward E. Johnson in Support of j2's MTT ("Johnson Decl."), Exh. D, Dkt. No. 151-1. In response, relying on a forum selection clause in a prior Agreement of Understanding between the parties, IGC filed a breach of contract action in this district. Dkt. No. 1 (Complt. filed July 2, 2012). The Agreement of Understanding, according to IGC, contained a covenant by j2 not to sue IGC on the patents at issue.
On August 7, 2012, Judge Pregerson stayed the C.D. Cal. Action while j2 defended against IGC's breach of contract action before this court. j2 Exh. E.
On April 12, 2013, j2 filed patent infringement counterclaims to IGC's breach of contract claim. Dkt. No. 43. These counterclaims were the same 3434 patent infringement claims previously asserted in the C.D. Cal. Action. See id.; j2 Exh. D.
On June 27, 2013, j2 filed a new case in this court, alleging IGC infringed U.S Patent No. 6, 020, 980 ("980 patent"). Case No. 13-2971, Dkt. No. 1.
Also, on June 27, 2013, because j2's counterclaims in Case No. 12-3434 were identical to the 3434 patent infringement claims in the C.D. Cal. Action, Judge Pregerson lifted the stay in the C.D. Cal. Action and dismissed the case. Declaration of James Heiser in Support of IGC's Response ("Heiser Decl."), Exh. 3, Dkt. No. 152-1.
On July 22, 2013, Case No. 12-3434 and Case No. 13-2971 were related. Dkt. No. 59; Case No. 13-2971, Dkt. No. 10.
On August 29, 2013, IGC counterclaimed in Case No. 13-2971 alleging again that j2 breached the Agreement of Understanding. Case No. 13-2971, Dkt. No. 12.
On October 18, 2013, this court granted IGC's motion to stay all proceedings on the patent claims and consolidate the breach of contract issues in both the 13-2971 and 12-3434 cases. Case No. 13-2971, Dkt. No. 34.
On March 21, 2014, this court granted j2's motion for summary judgment on the breach of contract claim/counterclaim finding the Agreement of Understanding did not cover j2's patent infringement claims. See Dkt. No. 139.
On May 22, 2014, defendants filed their MTT. Dkt. No. 151. In response, on June 5, 2014, IGC filed its Response. Dkt. No. 152. On June 12, ...