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Anza Technology, Inc. v. Xilinx, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Colorado

October 27, 2017

XILINX, INC., Defendant.


          William J. Martínez United States District Judge

         This is a patent infringement action brought by Plaintiff Anza Technology, Inc. (“Plaintiff”) against Defendant Xilinx, Inc. (“Defendant”). Currently before the Court is Defendant's Motion to Transfer Venue Under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), seeking to transfer this case to the Northern District of California (“Motion to Transfer”). (ECF No. 31.) For the reasons set forth below, Defendant's Motion to Transfer is granted.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff filed its Complaint on March 17, 2017 (ECF No. 1), and filed a subsequent First Amended Complaint on May 9, 2017 (ECF No. 27). Plaintiff alleges that it is a “designer, manufacturer and seller of products directed to the manufacture and assembly of electronics including the bonding of electrostatic-discharge-sensitive devices.” (Id. ¶ 5.) Plaintiff is incorporated in California and has its principal place of business in Rocklin, California. (Id.) Defendant is incorporated in Delaware and has its principal place of business in San Jose, California. (Id. ¶ 6.) Defendant alleges that it is “the global leader in all programmable semiconductor technologies, ” and further, that it is a fabless company, meaning that it does not manufacture its own products, but rather “contracts with third-party semiconductor manufacturing companies in Asia . . . to manufacture [integrated circuits], which in turn are transferred to other third parties in Asia for packaging.” (ECF No. 31 at 1-2.)[1]

         Plaintiff seeks damages for Defendant's alleged infringement on Plaintiff's patents Nos. 7, 389, 905 (issued for a “Flip Chip Bonding Tool Tip” (“905 patent”)), 6, 935, 548 (issued for a “Dissipative Ceramic Bonding Tool Tip” (“548 patent”)), and 6, 354, 479 (issued for a “Dissipative Ceramic Bonding Tool Tip” (“479 patent”)). (ECF No. 27 ¶¶ 31-33.)[2] According to Plaintiff, Defendant “designs, imports, [and] sells . . . products with electrostatic-discharge-sensitive integrated circuit chips that are assembled . . . in a manner that infringes the” 479, 548, and 905 patents. (Id. ¶ 7.)

         On June 9, 2017, Defendant filed the instant Motion to Transfer pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). (ECF No. 31.) Plaintiff filed a Response on June 30, 2017 (ECF No. 41), and Defendant replied on July 14, 2017 (ECF No. 42). Accordingly, the Motion to Transfer is now ripe for resolution.


         “For the convenience of parties and witnesses, 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.” 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). The party seeking to transfer a case bears the burden of establishing that the existing forum is inconvenient. See Chrysler Credit Corp. v. Country Chrysler, Inc., 928 F.2d 1509, 1515 (10th Cir. 1991).

         In ruling on a motion to transfer venue, district courts must assess two issues:

         (1) whether the case might have been brought in the proposed transferee district, and (2) whether the “competing equities” weigh in favor of adjudicating the case in that district. See Hustler Magazine, Inc. v. U.S. Dist. Court for the Dist. of Wyo., 790 F.2d 69, 71 (10th Cir. 1986).

         Lastly, the decision to transfer venue lies in the sole discretion of the district court and should be based on an “individualized, case-by-case consideration of convenience and fairness.” Stewart Org., Inc. v. Ricoh Corp., 487 U.S. 22, 29 (1988) (internal quotation marks omitted).

         III. ANALYSIS

         No party disputes that this lawsuit could have been originally filed in the Northern District of California. (ECF No. 31 at 6; see generally ECF No. 41); see also 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b) (“[A]ny civil action for patent infringement may be brought in the judicial district where . . . the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business.”). The Court therefore moves directly to the “competing equities.” See Hustler, 790 F.2d at 71.

         As defined in Tenth Circuit case law, the competing equities that must be weighed in a motion to transfer venue under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) include the following factors:

(1) plaintiff's choice of forum; (2) the accessibility of witnesses and other sources of proof, including the availability of compulsory process to insure attendance of witnesses; (3) the cost of making the necessary proof; (4) questions as to the enforceability of a judgment if one is obtained; (5) relative advantages and obstacles to a fair trial; (6) difficulties that may arise from congested dockets; (7) the possibility of the existence of questions arising in the area of conflict of laws; (8) the advantage of having a local court determine questions of local law; and (9) all other considerations of a practical nature that make a trial easy, expeditious and economical.

Chrysler Credit Corp., 928 F.2d at 1516 (quoting Tex. Gulf Sulphur Co. v. Ritter, 371 F.2d 145, 147 (10th Cir. 1967)). The Court will discuss each factor below.

         A. ...

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