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SRAM CORP. v. SUNRACE ROOTS ENTERPRISE CO.

February 27, 1997

SRAM CORPORATION, Plaintiff,
v.
SUNRACE ROOTS ENTERPRISE CO., LTD., and SUN VICTORY TRADING CO., INC., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: ALESIA

 This matter is before the Court on Defendants' motion to transfer this matter to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). The motion is granted.

 I. BACKGROUND

 Plaintiff SRAM Corporation ("SRAM") is an Illinois corporation with its principal place of business in Chicago, Illinois. SRAM is an international company which manufactures and sells bicycle component parts. Defendant SunRace Roots Enterprise Co., Ltd. ("SunRace"), is a foreign corporation with its principal place of business in Taiwan. SunRace, like SRAM, is also a large corporation which manufactures bicycle component parts. Defendant Sun Victory Trading Co., Inc. ("Sun Victory"), is a California corporation with its principal place of business in Oakland, California. Sun Victory is a small corporation -- it has five employees and combined gross sales for the 1995 and 1996 years total approximately $ 400,000 -- which distributes bicycle component parts.

 SRAM developed a unique twist grip bicycle gear changing system for multiple speed bicycles which it markets under the trademark "Grip Shift." SRAM alleges that SunRace and Sun Victory are manufacturing and selling devices which infringe its "Grip Shift" intellectual property rights. Consequently, SRAM filed a four-count complaint alleging: (1) patent infringement, 35 U.S.C. § 271; (2) trademark infringement, 15 U.S.C. § 1114(1); (3) false representation based on trade dress infringement, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a); and (4) unfair competition under the laws of Illinois.

 Defendants seek to transfer this matter to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

 II. DISCUSSION

 Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a):

 A transfer under § 1404(a) is appropriate if: (1) venue is proper in both the transferor and transferee court; (2) transfer is for the convenience of the parties and witnesses; and (3) transfer is in the interests of justice. Vandeveld v. Christoph, 877 F. Supp. 1160, 1167 (N.D. Ill. 1995). "The weighing of factors for and against transfer necessarily involves a large degree of subtlety and latitude, and therefore, is committed to the sound discretion of the trial judge." Coffey v. Van Dorn Iron Works, 796 F.2d 217, 219 (7th Cir. 1986).

 A. Venue

 Venue is proper *fn1" in both the Northern District of Illinois (the transferor court) and the Northern District of California (the transferee court), see 28 U.S.C. § 1391. *fn2"

 B. Convenience of Parties and Witnesses

 When evaluating the convenience of the parties and witnesses, the court considers: (1) the plaintiff's choice of forum; (2) the site of material events; (3) the availability of evidence in each forum; and (4) the convenience to the parties of litigating in the respective forums. ...


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