Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Location of Documents and Convenience of Witnesses and Parties Given Little Weight in Venue Analysis

In denying defendants' motion to transfer venue of plaintiff's declaratory relief action, the court gave little weight to the location of documents and convenience of witnesses and parties. "[T]echnological advances have rendered certain . . . factors less relevant. . . . [R]egarding factors two [the location of relevant documents] and four [the locus of the operative facts], the Court notes that [defendant] designed and developed the allegedly infringing product in Japan. [Defendant] almost certainly will not physically ship documents that relate to the design process from Japan to the trial court. Instead, it will scan those documents onto a computer, producing them with the click of a mouse in either New York or Washington. Similarly, with respect to factors one [the convenience of witnesses] and three [the convenience of the parties], travel has become cheaper and easier. Where multinational corporations compete over venue in cases that transcend borders, consideration of convenience to witnesses often devolves into an absurd comparison of the costs and durations of a few flights."

Tomita Technologies USA, LLC, et. al. v. Nintendo Co., Ltd., et. al., 1-11-cv-04256 (NYSD October 14, 2011, Order) (Rakoff, J.)

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