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Co-Star Realty Information, Inc v. Civix-Ddi

October 18, 2012

CO-STAR REALTY INFORMATION, INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
CIVIX-DDI, LLC, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: James F. Holderman, Chief Judge:

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Pending before the court is Defendant CIVIX-DDI, LLC's "Motion to Transfer This Case Under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(A)," to the Eastern District of Virginia. (Dkt. No. 14.) For the reasons stated below, the motion is denied.

BACKGROUND

CoStar Realty Information, Inc. ("CoStar") is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Washington, D.C. (Dkt. No. 32 ("First Am. Compl.") ¶ 2.) CIVIX-DDI, LLC ("CIVIX") is a Colorado LLC with a principal place of business in Alexandria, Virginia. (Id. ¶ 3.)

CIVIX owns two patents at issue here, U.S. Patent No. 6,385,622 (the "'622 patent") and U.S. Patent No. 6,415,291 (the "'291 patent"). (Id. ¶ 1.) The inventors of the patents include W. Lincoln Bouve, who resides in the Eastern District of Virginia, and Steven Oxman, who resides in Maryland.

Prior to the filing of this case, CIVIX has asserted infringement of the patents at issue here in several cases in the Northern District of Illinois. See CIVIX-DDI, LLC v. Navigation Techs. Corp., No. 99-C-4140 (N.D. Ill.); CIVIX-DDI, LLC v. Motorola, Inc., No. 03-C-3792 (N.D. Ill.); CIVIX- DDI, LLC v. Expedia, Inc., No. 04-C-8031 (N.D. Ill.); CIVIX-DDI, LLC v. Nat'l Ass'n of Realtors, No. 05-C-6869 (N.D. Ill.); CIVIX-DDI, LLC v. Midwest Real Estate Data, LLC, No. 10-C-4887 (N.D. Ill.).

On January 3, 2012, CIVIX brought suit against LoopNet, Inc. ("LoopNet") in the Eastern District of Virginia, alleging infringement of the same patents at issue here. (First Am. Compl. ¶ 15.) On April 30, 2012, CoStar acquired LoopNet (First Am. Compl., Ex. E, at 3.) On August 30, 2012, the Eastern District of Virginia transferred the case against LoopNet to the Northern District of Illinois. CIVIX-DDI, LLC v. LoopNet, Inc., No. 12-C-7091 (E.D. Va. Aug. 30, 2012).

LEGAL STANDARD

Section 1404(a) of Title 28 of the United States Code provides that "[f]or 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 or to any district or division to which all parties have consented." 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). A court may transfer a case under 1404(a) "if the moving party demonstrates that (1) venue is proper in the transferor district; (2) the transferee district is one where the action might have been brought (both venue and jurisdiction are proper); and (3) the transfer will serve the convenience of parties and witnesses and will serve the interest of justice." Medi USA, L.P. v. Jobst Inst., Inc., 791 F. Supp. 208, 210 (N.D. Ill. 1992); see also Heller Fin., Inc. v. Riverdale Auto Parts, Inc.,713 F. Supp. 1125, 1127 (N.D. Ill. 1989). To determine whether the transfer will serve the convenience of the parties and the interests of justice, the court must make an "individualized, case-by-case" determination. Stewart Org., Inc. v. Ricoh Corp., 487 U.S. 22, 29 (1988) (quotation marks and citation omitted). Because § 1404(a) does not specify the weight to accord each of the factors, a question that "involves a large degree of subtlety and latitude," the court may weigh them in its "sound discretion." Coffey v. Van Dorn Iron Works, 796 F.2d 217, 219 (7th Cir. 1986). The movant, CIVIX, has the burden of establishing that the transferee forum is clearly more convenient. Id. Declaratory actions are subject to the same considerations relevant to any other motion to transfer under 1404(a). See Micron Tech., Inc. v. Mosaid Techs., Inc., 518 F.3d 897, 904 (Fed. Cir. 2008).

DISCUSSION

The parties do not dispute that venue is proper here and in the Eastern District of Virginia. The court therefore need consider only whether the Eastern District of Virginia is clearly more convenient than the transferor forum. The court will thus proceed to consider each of the relevant factors.

I. The Convenience of the Parties

Courts have considered a range of factors to assess the convenience of the parties, including "the plaintiff's choice of forum, the convenience of the witnesses and parties, the situs of material events, and the location of documents and sources of proof." United Air Lines, ...


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