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Niazi v. St. Jude Med. S.C., Inc.

United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin

November 7, 2017, Decided; November 7, 2017, Filed

17-cv-183-jdp; 17-cv-184-jdp; 17-cv-185-jdp; 17-cv-283-jdp

Opinion

OPINION & ORDER

In each of these four cases, plaintiff Imran Niazi is suing the defendant for alleged infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,638,268, which discloses a type of heart catheter. Various motions are pending in each case, but all of the defendants have filed motions to dismiss for improper venue.

In light of TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Grp. Brands LLC, 137 S. Ct. 1514, 197 L. Ed. 2d 816 (2017), In re Cray Inc., 871 F.3d 1355 (Fed. Cir. 2017), and the evidence submitted by the parties, the court is persuaded that venue is not proper in this district as to any of the four cases because none of the defendants "reside[]" here or have a "regular and established place of business" here, as required by 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b). This conclusion makes it unnecessary to decide the other pending motions.

Under 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a), a court has discretion to dismiss a case for improper venue or transfer it to a district where the plaintiff could have filed it. Although this court generally favors transfer over dismissal, Niazi has complicated the analysis by transferring ownership of the '268 patent to a corporation after he filed these cases, leading most of the defendants to file new motions to dismiss on the ground that Niazi no longer has [*3]  standing to sue. To avoid questions about jurisdiction after a transfer, the court will dismiss the cases so that Niazi and the assignee can refile after determining the proper parties. Sinochem Intern. Co. Ltd. v. Malaysia Intern. Shipping Corp., 549 U.S. 422, 431, 127 S. Ct. 1184, 167 L. Ed. 2d 15 (2007) ("[A] federal court has leeway to choose among threshold grounds for denying audience to a case on the merits. . . . Jurisdiction is vital only if the court proposes to issue a judgment on the merits.") (internal quotations and alterations omitted).

ANALYSIS

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2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 183849 *; 2017 WL 5159784

IMRAN NIAZI, Plaintiff, v. ST. JUDE MEDICAL S.C., INC., Defendant.IMRAN NIAZI, Plaintiff, v. BOSTON SCIENTIFIC CORP., Defendant.IMRAN NIAZI, Plaintiff, v. MEDTRONIC, INC., Defendant.

CORE TERMS

venue, cases, established place of business, regular, discovery, district court, place of business, court of appeals, improper venue, proper venue, parties, patent