For the convenience of parties and witnesses and 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 under 28 U.S.C.S. § 1404(a). "[T]he plaintiff's choice of forum is clearly a factor to be considered but in and of itself it is neither conclusive nor determinative.".
Plaintiff, a limited liability company with principal place of business in Mississippi, accused defendant, a California corporation, of infringing on two patents of which plaintiff was the assignee. Defendant moved for the transfer of venue from the Mississippi district court to the California district court. The Mississippi district court, after it considered the applicable private interest and public interest factors to determine whether the California district court was the clearly more convenient venue than plaintiff's chosen venue, denied defendant’s motion.
Was defendant’s motion for transfer of venue of the infringement case filed by plaintiff proper?
While not determinative, plaintiff’s choice of venue was afforded deference. Defendant had the burden of showing that its preferred venue was clearly more convenient. Defendant failed to meet the burden as most of the private interest and public interest factors in the analysis were neutral. Only one or two slightly favored a transfer. A change of venue would simply transfer any inconvenience defendant might suffer to plaintiff.