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In re Video Processing Technology

Decided: May 18, 1992.

IN RE VIDEO PROCESSING TECHNOLOGY, PETITIONER.


Before Mayer, Circuit Judge, Bennett, Senior Circuit Judge, Clevenger, Circuit Judge.

Mayer

PETITION FOR WRIT OF MANDAMUS

MAYER, Circuit Judge.

Order

Video Processing Technology (VidPro) petitions for a writ of mandamus*fn* directing the United States District Court for the Northern District of California to vacate its November 14, 1991 order, reconsideration denied on February 5, 1992, transferring VidPro's case to the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). FOR-A Corporation of America (FOR-A America) opposes.

This matter stems from VidPro's patent infringement suit against FOR-A America and FOR-A Company Ltd. of Japan (FOR-A Japan) in VidPro's home district in California. FOR-A America moved to transfer the action to Massachusetts pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Shortly thereafter, FOR-A Japan moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and for improper service of process. That motion has not been decided. The California district court granted the motion to transfer on November 14, 1991. On February 2, 1992, reconsideration was denied:

This is a patent infringement action in which VidPro sues FOR-A America and its Japanese parent corporation, FOR-A Company Limited, for allegedly infringing six different patents in the field of video signal processing technology.

VidPro is a California corporation with its only place of business in San Jose. For-A America is headquartered in Natick, Massachusetts. FOR-A America has no offices in the Northern District of California and no employees reside in this district.

Discussion

28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) provides: "For the convenience of the parties and witnesses, in the interest of Justice, a district court may transfer any civil action to any other district or division where it may have been brought." A defendant must make a strong showing of inconvenience to warrant upsetting the plaintiff's choice of forum. Decker Coal Co. v. Commonwealth Edison Co., 805 F.2d 834, 843. It is appropriate to balance the preference accorded plaintiff's choice of forum with the burden of litigating in an inconvenient forum. Id.

In deciding to transfer this case to the District of Massachusetts, this Court considered, inter alia, the (1) convenience of parties and witnesses, (2) access to other sources of proof, (3) the location of the events at issue. After considering these factors, and especially the convenience to witnesses, this Court concluded that the defendant had met its burden of demonstrating that the inconvenience to litigating in the Northern District of California outweighed plaintiff's choice of forum. This court finds no reason to depart from its original ruling.

Accordingly, VidPro's motion for reconsideration is DENIED.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

VidPro argues that the transfer constituted a serious error of law and a gross abuse of discretion because (1) it may not be possible to obtain personal jurisdiction over FOR-A Japan in Massachusetts, (2) appeals should not be transferred where plaintiff brings a suit in its own district and at least some of the infringing sales were in that district, (3) some of VidPro's witnesses may not be ...


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