The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bauer, District Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This cause comes on the defendants' motion for change of venue
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).
This action is based on diversity of citizenship for trade
libel, slander of title, deceptive trade practices and unfair
competition and trade practice combined with an action for
false marking and representation under 35 U.S.C. § 292 and
15 U.S.C. § 1125(a) respectively.
The plaintiff, the Lase Co., is incorporated under the laws of
the State of Illinois and has its principal place of business
in that state. Defendant Wein Products, Inc. is incorporated
under the laws of the State of California and has its principal
place of business in that state. Defendant Stanley Weinberg is
a resident and citizen of the State of California. The amount
in controversy is alleged to exceed $10,000 exclusive of
interest and costs.
The plaintiff's complaint sets forth six causes of action in
six separate counts.
Count I alleges a cause of action against the defendants for
the tort of trade libel and title slander. Count II alleges, in
the alternative to Count I, a cause of action against the
defendants for unfair competition and unfair trade practices.
Count III alleges a cause of action against defendant Stanley
Weinberg for trade libel and title slander. Count IV alleges a
cause of action against defendants under the Patent Laws of the
United States, 35 U.S.C. § 292. Count V alleges a cause of
action against the defendants for deceptive trade practices.
Count VI alleges a cause of action against the defendants for
false descriptions and representations in the sale of their
product in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a).
The plaintiff in the complaint alleges the following facts,
inter alia, which are relevant to the proper disposition of
the instant motion. (1) The plaintiff is engaged in the making
and selling of certain photographic equipment including a
certain photographic slave trigger device, sold by plaintiff
under the trademark of "Lase" and on which plaintiff owned all
rights, title and interest pursuant to a patent application
filed November 14, 1967, which issued as U.S. Patent No.
3,487,221 on December 30, 1969. (2) The defendant Wein
Products, Inc., is engaged in the manufacture and sale of
photographic equipment, including electronic slave trigger
devices, in direct competition with plaintiff. Defendants'
electronic slave trigger devices are sold under the trademark
"Micro-Slave". (3) On or about June 26, 1969, while acting
within the scope of his employment as President of Wein
Products, Inc., Stanley Weinberg did knowingly and maliciously
cause a letter to be sent to each of plaintiff's distributors
concerning plaintiff's title to and right to manufacture and
sell Lase electronic slave trigger devices. The letter
contained the following language:
Directive to Distributors
We have been informed that LASE is using circuitry that
infringes on our patents for the Micro-Slave. We strongly urge
all of our distributors to refrain from handling this item as
we are filing an infringement suit with the United States
The defendants in support of their motion for a change of venue
1. Discovery thus far demonstrates that California is the
primary situs of the actual controversy between the parties,
the dispositive ...