Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Hangzhou Chic Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd. v. Swagway, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. California

April 21, 2017

HANGZHOU CHIC INTELLIGENT TECHNOLOGY CO., LTD., Plaintiff,
v.
SWAGWAY, LLC, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO TRANSFER RE: DKT. NO. 15

          HAYWOOD S. GILLIAM, JR. United States District Judge.

         Pending before the Court is Defendant Swagway, LLC's (“Defendant” or “Swagway”) motion to transfer venue to the Northern District of Indiana. Dkt. No. 15. Plaintiff Hangzhou Chic Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd. (“Plaintiff” or “Chic”) opposes the motion. Dkt. No. 28. Having carefully considered the parties' arguments, the Court GRANTS Defendant's motion and TRANSFERS this action to the Northern District of Indiana for the reasons set forth below.[1]

         I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

         Both parties design, manufacture, and sell self-balancing vehicles called “hoverboards.” See Dkt. No. 1 ¶ 3, 10; Dkt. No. 12 at 9-10. Plaintiff is a Chinese corporation with its principal place of business in Hangzhou, China. See Dkt. No. 1 ¶ 2. Plaintiff researches, designs, and manufactures its products in Hangzhou, and does not have any employees located outside of China. Dkt. No. 28-1 ¶¶ 4-5. Plaintiff admits that it has “limited” contacts with the United States, though its largest customer is based in California. Dkt. No. 28 at 2; Dkt. No. 28-1 ¶¶ 4-10.

         Swagway is an American limited liability company with its principal place of business in South Bend, Indiana. See Dkt. No. 1 ¶ 4. Its South Bend office is Swagway's sole U.S. facility. See Dkt. No. 35-1 ¶ 5. Defendant's managing member, Johnny Zhu, resides in South Bend. Id. ¶ 1. In addition, one of Defendant's distributors, 3B-Tech, Inc. (“3B-Tech”), and four 3B-Tech employees who are potential third-party witnesses, are all located in South Bend. Id. ¶¶ 6, 7, 11. Defendant manufactures its products through third parties in China. Id. ¶ 16.

         Plaintiff filed the present action in this district on August 19, 2016, for patent infringement arising under 35 U.S.C. § 1 et. seq. See Dkt. No. 1. Plaintiff seeks damages, injunctive relief, and other relief for the alleged infringement of United States Patent Nos. 9, 376, 155 (entitled “Electric Balance Vehicle”) and D737, 723 (entitled “Self-Balancing Vehicle”). See Id. ¶ 1, 5, 8-9.

         Defendant answered the complaint on August 26, 2016. Dkt. No. 12. The same day, Defendant filed a complaint against Plaintiff in the Northern District of Indiana alleging unfair competition under federal and state laws, tortious interference with business relationships, and defamation (the “Indiana Action”). See Dkt. No. 36. Defendant then filed a motion to transfer venue from this district to the Northern District of Indiana on September 2, 2016, on the basis of forum non conveniens. Dkt. No. 15. Plaintiff responded on September 23, 2016, Dkt. No. 28, and Defendant replied on October 7, 2016, Dkt. No. 35. However, because Defendant included new information in its reply regarding potential witnesses, the Court waived the deadline to file an objection to Defendant's reply under Civ. L.R. 7-3(d)(1), and Plaintiff filed an objection on November 15, 2016. See Dkt. Nos. 44, 51.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) provides: “For the convenience of the 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.” The purpose of this statute is “to prevent the waste of time, energy and money and to protect litigants, witnesses and the public against unnecessary inconvenience and expense.” Van Dusen v. Barrack, 376 U.S. 612, 616 (1964).

         When ruling on a motion to transfer under § 1404(a), courts consider “both public factors [that] go to the interests of justice[, ] and private factors, which go to the convenience of the parties and witnesses.” Brackett v. Hilton Hotels Corp., 619 F.Supp.2d 810, 820 (N.D. Cal. 2008). Private interest factors include “ease of access to sources of proof, plaintiff's choice of forum, relative convenience to parties, and relative convenience to witnesses.” Id. Public interest factors include “degrees of court congestion, local interest in deciding local controversies, potential conflicts of laws, and burdening citizens of an unrelated forum with jury duty.” Id. at 820. It is the moving party's burden “to show that when these factors are applied, the balance of convenience clearly favors transfer.” Trend Micro Inc. v. RPost Holdings, Inc., No. 13-cv-05227-WHO, 2014 WL 1365491, at *5 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 7, 2014).

         III. ANALYSIS

         A. The Action Could Have Been Brought In the Northern District of Indiana

          “Any civil action for patent infringement may be brought in the judicial district where the defendant resides, or where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business.” 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b). Plaintiff does not dispute that this action could have been brought in the Northern District of Indiana. Because Defendant designs, researches, and tests its products in South Bend, Indiana, where its sole and principal place of business is located, see Dkt. No. 35, Defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction in the state of Indiana, and the Court finds that this part of the analysis is satisfied.

         B. Private ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.