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RECOTON CORP. v. ALLSOP

April 6, 1998

RECOTON CORPORATION, Plaintiff,
v.
ALLSOP, INC., Defendant.


ROBERT W. SWEET, U.S.D.J.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: SWEET

Sweet, D. J.

 Defendant Allsop, Inc. ("Allsop") moves to transfer this action brought by plaintiff Recoton Corporation ("Recoton") to the Western District of Washington at Seattle pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). For the reasons set forth below, Defendants' motion is hereby granted.

 The Parties

 Recoton is a New York corporation that manufactures and sells audio and video machine cleaning devices. While Recoton maintains an office in New York, its principal place of business is in Florida. Recoton manufactures its devices overseas.

 Allsop is a Washington corporation, with its principal place of business in Bellingham, Washington. Allsop also manufactures and sells audio and video machine cleaning devices. Allsop manufactures its audio disc cleaners in Washington.

 Prior Proceedings

 Recoton filed a complaint for declaratory judgment and patent infringement in the Southern District of New York on November 12, 1997.

 On November 14, 1997, Allsop filed a similar complaint for declaratory judgment and patent infringement against Recoton in the Western District of Washington. Recoton filed a motion in the Western District of Washington to transfer the complaint to this district on January 22, 1998, which was denied on March 24, 1998. See Allsop, Inc. v. Recoton Corp., No. C97-1792Z (W.D. Wash. Mar. 24, 1998).

 Allsop filed this motion to transfer venue to the Western District of Washington on January 15, 1998. The motion was deemed fully submitted on February 11, 1998 without oral argument.

 The Facts

 Allsop owns three patents: (1) U.S. patent No. 4,387,411 (the "'411 patent") (for a video cleaner); (2) U.S. patent No. 4,556,433 (the "'433 patent") (for a digital audio disk cleaner); and (3) U.S. patent No. 4,713,856 (the "'856 patent") (for a digital audio disk cleaner).

 Recoton owns one patent, U.S. patent No. 4,561,142 (the "'142 patent"), for an audio disk cleaner, which it acquired when it took over another company, Discwasher, in the mid-1990's. Discwasher maintained its principal offices in Missouri.

 Allsop alleges that, in the late 1980's, an infringement dispute erupted between Allsop and Discwasher over Discwasher's '142 patent and Allsop's '433 and '856 patents. To settle this dispute, Allsop alleges that it entered into an oral agreement with Discwasher that bound both parties not to enforce their patents against each other. Allsop alleges that Recoton not only knew about the Discwasher agreement with Allsop, but that Recoton continued to abide by the agreement after it took over Discwasher. Allsop ...


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