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GALLERY HOUSE, INC. v. YI

July 18, 1984

GALLERY HOUSE, INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
ALAN YI, D/B/A CAPITAL TRADING COMPANY, AND JOY'S CLOCK SHOP, LTD., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bua, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM ORDER

Before the Court is defendants' motion to transfer this case to the District Court for the Western District of Washington at Seattle, Washington pursuant 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). For the reasons stated herein, defendants' motion to transfer is denied.

I. FACTS

The following facts are set forth in the complaint filed by plaintiff Gallery House on February 15, 1984, and affidavits submitted by the parties.

Plaintiff Gallery House, Inc. ("Gallery House"), an Illinois corporation with its principal place of business in Chicago, Illinois, is in the business of designing and marketing brass statues on a nationwide basis. Defendant Capital Trading Company ("Capital") is a sole proprietorship owned and operated by Alan Yi, an individual having offices in Redmond, Washington. Capital is an importer and nationwide distributor of brass statues and other works of art. Defendant Joy's Clock Shop, Ltd. ("Joy's"), an Illinois corporation with its principal place of business in Chicago, Illinois, is a retail outlet offering items for sale to the public.

Gallery House brings this action to recover damages for Capital and Joy's alleged infringement of the Copyright Laws of the United States, 17 U.S.C. § 101 et seq. Capital purchases brass statutes made by Keang Nam Brassware Company ("Keang Nam") of Seoul, South Korea. Keang Nam formerly manufactured copyrighted brass statues sold by Gallery House under the trade name "Dolbi-Cashier." The statues in question sold by Capital are indistinguishable from statues sold by Gallery House. Gallery House claims to own copyrights on the statues in issue.

During the week of January 30, 1984, Mr. Alan Yi, owner and operator of Capital, attended the Chicago Gift Show held in Chicago, Illinois. At the show, Capital distributed its catalog containing pictures of the alleged infringing works, offered those items for sale, and sold certain items to the trade and purchasing public. Two items were sold and delivered to Joy's, which Joy's in turn sold to the purchasing public.

On February 17, 1984, pursuant to motion, this Court entered a temporary restraining order enjoining Capital and Joy's from further sale, offering for sale and distribution of the alleged infringing works. On March 26, 1984, this Court granted plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction enjoining Capital and Joy's from selling, offering for sale, advertising or displaying the alleged infringing items. On April 20, 1984, Capital filed a notice of appeal in the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Prior to that filing, on April 9, 1984, Capital filed a motion to transfer venue to the Western District of Washington under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a).

II. DISCUSSION

Capital requests transfer to the Western District of Washington at Seattle, Washington under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Section 1404(a) provides:

  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.

The decision to transfer venue lies within the sound discretion of the district court judge. Cunningham v. Cunningham, 477 F. Supp. 632, 634 (N.D.Ill. 1979). Although § 1404(a) evolved out of the doctrine of forum non conveniens, the scope of a district court's discretion is broader than under the common law. Norwood v. Kirkpatrick, 349 U.S. 29, 75 S.Ct. 544, 99 L.Ed. 789 (1955); Brown v. Grimm, 624 F.2d 58 (7th Cir. 1980). The party seeking transfer has the burden of proving transfer is proper and must establish that the balance weighs strongly in favor of the transferee's district. Cunningham, 477 F. Supp. at 634; Cinema Systems, Inc. v. Lab Methods Corp., 545 F. Supp. 403 (N.D.Ill. 1982).

In order to show that transfer of venue is proper under 28 U.S.C. ยง 1404(a), the moving party must establish that (1) venue is proper in the transferor district; (2) venue is proper in the transferee district; (3) the transfer is for the convenience of parties and witnesses and in the interest of justice. ...


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