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Groove Dig., Inc. v. United Bank

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

March 1, 2019, Decided; March 1, 2019, Filed

Civil No. 1:18-cv-00966



This matter comes before the Court on Defendant Fidelity Information Services, LLC's (FIS) Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Venue or in the Alternative to Transfer Venue. Dkt. 65. The motion is fully briefed and the Court heard oral argument on March 1, 2019. For the following reasons, the reasons stated from the bench, and for good cause shown the Motion is granted.

A complaint may be brought in a patent case in the location where defendant resides or where defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business. 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b); TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Grp. Brands LLC, 137 S. Ct. 1514, 1517, 197 L. Ed. 2d 816 (2017) (holding that for purposes of 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b) a corporation resides in only its state of incorporation).

The parties [*2]  agree that FIS does not reside in the Eastern District of Virginia, leaving only the question of whether FIS has a regular and established place of business. To prove a regular and established place of business, plaintiff must demonstrate defendant (1) has a physical place in the district; (2) it is a regular and established place of business; and (3) it is the place of the defendant. In re Cray Inc., 871 F.3d 1355, 1360 (Fed. Cir. 2017). Plaintiff bears the burden of establishing that venue is proper. In re ZTE (USA) Inc., 890 F.3d 1008, 1013 (Fed. Cir. 2018). Here, Plaintiff did not identify in its briefs or oral argument that Defendant Fidelity Information Services maintained a physical place in this district that was a regular and established place of business.

Recognizing this deficiency, Plaintiff requested the Court order a brief period of jurisdictional discovery for it to gather evidence that would support venue. This Court has previously denied a request for jurisdictional discovery when the plaintiff did not present evidence that suggested the defendant maintained a continuous presence in the district and when the plaintiff did not identify "any source of information or fact that would change the court's analysis." Symbology Innovations, LLC v. Lego Sys., Inc., 158 F. Supp. 3d 916 (E.D. Va. 2017). In denying that request the Court noted allowing jurisdictional [*3]  discovery would facilitate a fishing expedition and "recreate the inconvenience that venue rules are intended to prevent." Id.

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2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 228568 *

GROOVE DIGITAL, INC., Plaintiff, v. UNITED BANK et al., Defendants.


Venue, established place of business, discovery, regular, reasons, resides, fishing expedition, present evidence, oral argument, parties