Richards Layton & Finger
 

Magistrate Judge Burke Denies Motion to Transfer

May 3, 2017

In Tessera, Inc. v. Broadcom Corporation, C.A. No. 16-379-LPS-CJB and 16-380-LPS-CJB (D. Del. Mar. 21, 2017), Magistrate Judge Burke denied Broadcom Corporation’s (“Broadcom”) motion to transfer these related cases from the District of Delaware to the Northern District of California.

Judge Burke rejected Broadcom’s argument that, because the plaintiffs in these two cases—all incorporated in Delaware—had places of business in California and had previously filed other suits there, the selection of Delaware as the forum for these litigations was improper; the Court explained that the plaintiffs’ status as Delaware entities was a legitimate reason for choosing the District of Delaware. The Court concluded that Broadcom’s forum preference favored transfer, and that the factors addressing the convenience of the parties, the location where the claims arose, and the availability of non-party witnesses favored transfer, albeit only slightly. All remaining factors were found to be neutral.

Although numerically more factors fell in Broadcom’s favor, in the aggregate the facts underlying those factors did not have “much of a practical impact,” according to the Court. Thus, Judge Burke denied the motion to transfer, but noted that the outcome may have been different had Broadcom “been able to make a stronger showing even as to any one of the factors that only slightly tipped in its favor.”

Key Points: It remains the movant’s burden to make a sufficient showing on each of the Jumara factors, and a failure to do so will result in denial.