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Veeva Systems Inc. v. Iqvia Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California

September 26, 2019

VEEVA SYSTEMS, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
IQVIA INC. and IMS SOFTWARE SERVICES, LTD., Defendants.

          ORDER RE MOTION TO DISMISS, STAY, OR TRANSFER AND VACATING HEARING

          WILLIAM ALSUP UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         In this antitrust action, defendants move to dismiss, stay, or transfer. Plaintiff opposes. For the following reasons, the motion to transfer is Granted.

         STATEMENT

         Central to this action are the following life sciences data and software products: reference data, sales data, commercial data warehouse software, customer relationship management software, and master data management software.

         Life sciences reference data includes the names, contact information, and affiliations of doctors, hospitals, clinics, and other medical professionals and organizations. Life sciences companies purchase and use such information for sales, marketing, and compliance purposes. Life sciences sales data tracks the prescriptions written and volumes of drugs sold in a given geographic region. Life sciences companies use such data to analyze their product performance and marketing (Compl. ¶¶ 39, 40, 52, 54).

         Life sciences companies use commercial data warehouse software to store, organize, and analyze their reference and sales data. Life sciences companies use customer relationship management software to collate, automate, and synchronize their reference and sales data in order to better manage their customer interactions and enhance sales. Life sciences companies use master data management software to identify reference and sales data sources within a customer’s business, collect the data in a central repository, and integrate that data in a structure that facilitates consistent extraction for analysis (id. at ¶¶ 69, 70, 79, 83).

         Plaintiff Veeva Systems Inc., headquartered in Pleasanton, is a pharmaceutical data and software company. Defendant IMS Software is a software company headquartered in Connecticut. Defendant IQVIA, headquartered in Connecticut and North Carolina, is also a pharmaceutical data and software company. Veeva and IQVIA license life science data and software products that enable companies to use life sciences reference and sales data. IQVIA allegedly maintains a 70% share of the reference data market. IQVIA also requires its customers to obtain a third-party access agreement before hosting IQVIA data on third-party software platforms (id. at ¶¶ 3–5, 25, 30).

         In January 2017, IQVIA asserted claims against Veeva for theft of trade secrets and misuse of IQVIA’s confidential and proprietary market research offerings in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey. In response, Veeva asserted federal antitrust violations as counterclaims against IQVIA in the MDM market based on IQVIA allegedly delaying or refusing to sign third-party access agreements to prevent customers from hosting IQVIA data. In March 2017, Veeva moved to transfer the action to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The motion was denied. Litigation on the matter has continued and discovery is scheduled to close in September 2019. IQVIA Inc., et al. v. Veeva Systems Inc., No. 2:17-177-CCC-MF (Dkt. Nos. 1, 11, 12).

         In mid-2018, Veeva launched a CDW product called Nitro. At the time, IQVIA already offered its own CDW product called IQVIA Data Warehouse. In September 2018, one of Veeva’s first Nitro customers submitted a third party agreement request to use IQVIA sales data with Nitro. IQVIA initially refused the request and later blocked NPI numbers and other publicly available identifiers. This same course of conduct allegedly occurred with various other customers (Compl. ¶¶ 109–11).

         In June 2019, Veeva told IQVIA’s counsel that it planned to amend its counterclaims to include allegations regarding Nitro (Mot. Ex. E). On July 11, Veeva told IQVIA and Special Master former Judge Dennis Cavanaugh that it would not seek leave to amend its counterclaims (Opp. Ex. E 24:23–25). On July 17, 2019, IQVIA filed an action in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey seeking declaratory relief that “IQVIA is not liable to Veeva based on any decisions not to enter into TPA Agreements permitting IQVIA’s Market Research Offerings to be inputted into Veeva Nitro, or any later-introduced Veeva SaaS products, under any federal antitrust law, including Section 2 of the Sherman Act, or the laws of the states of New Jersey or California.” IQVIA Inc. v. Veeva Systems Inc., No. 2:19-15517-CCC-MF (Dkt. No. 1). The next day, Veeva filed the instant action in our district. Defendants now move to dismiss, stay, or transfer the action to the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey (Dkt. Nos. 1, 40). Pursuant to our local civil rule 7-1(b), this order finds plaintiff’s motion suitable for submission without oral argument and hereby vacates the October 10 hearing.

         ANALYSIS

         1. First-to-File.

         When cases involving the same parties and issues have been filed in two different districts, a federal district court has discretion to dismiss, stay, or transfer a case to another district court. Kohn Law Grp., Inc. v. Auto Parts Mfg. Mississippi, Inc., 787 F.3d 1237, 1239 (9th Cir. 2015). When deciding whether to do so, the court looks to three threshold factors: (1) the chronology of the two actions; (2) the similarity of the parties; and (3) the similarity of issues. Id. at 1240. Here, all three required factors are met. Both ...


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