Friday, February 15, 2013

Non-Practicing Plaintiff’s Choice of Forum Entitled to Deference

The court denied defendant's motion to transfer venue from the District of Delaware to the Northern District of Texas and rejected defendant's argument that plaintiff's choice of forum was entitled to less deference because plaintiff was a "litigation vehicle." "[P]laintiffs (as the injured parties) have historically been accorded the privilege of choosing the venue for pursuing their claims. [Defendant] argues that these customary principles 'should be accorded little weight because [plaintiff's] recent incorporation in Delaware is an artifice of litigation' and, indeed, [plaintiff] is 'simply a litigation vehicle . . . designed to give [a corporate affiliate] an anchor, however tenuous, to this District.' . . . [M]any businesses and academic institutions enforce their patent rights through private companies (like [plaintiff]); such a business strategy is not nefarious. The court declines to treat such non-practicing entities as anything less than holders of constitutionally protected property rights, those rights having been legitimized by the [PTO]. Therefore, the fact that a plaintiff is characterized as a 'litigation vehicle' does not detract from the weight accorded a plaintiff's choice of forum."

Cradle IP LLC v. Texas Instruments, Inc., 1-11-cv-01254 (DED February 13, 2013, Order) (Robinson, J.).

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