By Memorandum Opinion entered by The Honorable Gregory M. Sleet in Apple Inc., et al. v. High Tech Computer Corp., et al., Civil Action Nos. 10-166-GMS and 10-167-GMS (D.Del., January 14, 2011), the Court denied defendant HTC Corp.’s motion seeking to transfer Apple’s patent infringement actions against HTC to the Northern District of California pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). In support of its motion, HTC contended, among other things, that (1) Apple’s choice of venue (i.e. District of Delaware) should be given little deference because Delaware is not Apple’s “home turf” and has no meaningful connection to the facts of the cases; and (2) none of the witnesses or documents relevant to the cases are located in Delaware as opposed to scores of potential witnesses and relevant documents which may be found in the Northern District of California. Id. at 4. In opposition to the motion, Apple asserted, among other things, that transfer would not serve the interests of justice because (1) two related pending actions involving numerous common issues of law and fact remain in the District of Delaware; (2) HTC’s infringing activity took place across the entire country, including Delaware; and (3) HTC failed to show a physical or financial condition of the parties which would cause litigating in Delaware to be burdensome. Id. at 4-5. In denying the motion to transfer, the Court concluded that the balance of convenience did not strongly favor transfer under the facts and, thus, Apple’s choice of forum should prevail. Id. at 5.
The Court specifically noted that, although it previously denied Apple’s motion to consolidate the two related pending actions due to the magnitude of those cases and limited commonalities among them, there are some common issues of law and fact in the cases. Id. Thus, it would better serve the interests of justice and judicial economy if those issues were addressed by the same court. Id.
A complete copy of the Memorandum Opinion is attached.