Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

NetSoc, LLC v. Linkedin Corp.

United States District Court, S.D. New York

January 14, 2020

NETSOC, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
LINKEDIN CORP., Defendant. NETSOC, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
OATH INC., Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION & ORDER

          Ronnie Abrams, United States District Judge.

         Plaintiff NetSoc, LLC filed claims for patent infringement against Defendants Chegg Inc., LinkedIn Corp., Quora Inc., and Oath Inc., in four separate actions that were consolidated through claim construction.[1] See Dkt. 23.[2] Now before the Court is Defendant LinkedIn's motion to transfer the action against it to the Northern District of California pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), For the following reasons, the motion is granted.

         BACKGROUND[3]

         I. Procedural History

         Plaintiff filed a complaint against LinkedIn on December 26, 2018. It asserted that LinkedIn's website infringes U.S. Patent No. 9, 978, 107 (the"'107 Patent") and U.S. Patent No. 7, 565, 344 (the "'344 Patent"), which Plaintiff owns by assignment. See Dkt. 1, Compl ¶¶ 7, 13. Both patents are described generally as "a method and system for establishing and using a social network to facilitate people in life issues." Id. ¶¶ 8, 14.

         On March 4, 2019, LinkedIn filed a motion to dismiss the complaint. See Dkt. 19. On May 24, LinkedIn filed the present motion to transfer this case to the Northern District of California pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). See Dkt. 35. In July, the Court stayed discovery pending resolution of these and other motions in the four actions. See Dkt. 44. In spite of the fact that it also has pending a motion to dismiss, LinkedIn has requested that the Court first resolve its motion to transfer. See Dkt. 70 ("LinkedIn maintains its position as stated during the Status Conference on August 27, 2019, that it would be procedurally proper to resolve LinkedIn's pending Motion to Transfer . .. before reaching issues of collateral estoppel as to LinkedIn.").[4]

         II. The Parties

         Plaintiff is a Texas limited liability company with its principal place of business in Harris County, Texas. See Dkt. 1, Compl. ¶ 1. In April 2018, Emily White, the inventor of the '107 Patent and '344 Patent, assigned the rights to these patents to Plaintiff See Dkt 35, Ex. B (Patent Assignment Cover Sheet), Plaintiff alleges that "LinkedIn maintains, operates, and administers a website at www.LinkedIn.com that infringes one or more claims of the '107 patent." and "of the '344 patent." Dkt 1, Compl ¶¶9, 15. Plaintiff specifically identifies two of LinkedIn's services - "Recruiter" and "ProFinder" - as the services that infringe on these two patents. See Id. ¶¶ 10-11, 16-17.

         LinkedIn is a domestic corporation organized under the laws of Delaware. Plaintiff alleges that LinkedIn's principal place of business is in New York City. See id 2, LinkedIn disputes this, asserting that its principal place of business is in Northern California. According to LinkedIn, it "has been located in the San Francisco Bay Area since its founding in Mountain View, California in 2003," Goralnick Deck ¶5, Its headquarters - described as "the strategic center of LinkedIn's business" - are presently located in Sunnyvale, California, and it has "multiple, additional large offices in the San Francisco Bay Area," Id. As such, it employs approximately 6, 500 employees in Northern California. See id.

         LinkedIn acknowledges that it has had an office in New York since 201 Nonetheless, it contends that employees in that office focus only on "marketing and sales activities," and that "[e]mployees in the San Francisco Bay Area ultimately oversee" the New York office's work, Chandra Deck ¶ 13. In particular, according to LinkedIn, all "operations relevant to the design, development, marketing, and function of its services related to this patent infringement action "reside in its Sunnyvale, Mountain View, and San Francisco offices." Goralnick Decl. ¶¶ 7, 12; Chandra Decl. ¶¶ 7, 12.

         LEGAL STANDARD

         “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). "In considering whether to grant a venue transfer, courts engage in a two-part test: (1) whether the action 'might have been brought' in the proposed transferee forum; and (2) whether the transfer promotes convenience and justice," Excelsior Designs, Inc. v. Sheres, 291 F. Supp, 2d 181, 185 (E.D.N.Y. 2003) (quoting Schertenleib v. Traum, 589 F.2d 1156, 1161 (2d Cir. 1978)), "The moving party bears the burden of showing, by clear and convincing evidence, that a transfer is appropriate." Phillips v. Reed Grp., Ltd., 955 F.Supp.2d 201, 229 (S.D.N.Y. 2013). "District courts have broad discretion in making determinations of convenience under Section 1404(a) and notions of convenience and fairness are considered on a case-by-case basis.” D.H. Blair & Co. v. Gottdiener, 462 F.3d 95, 106 (2d Cir. 2006).

         DISCUSSION

         I. Whether the Action Might Have Been Brought in the Northern District of California

         "An action "might have been brought' in another forum if venue would have been proper there and the defendants would have been amenable to personal jurisdiction in the transferee forum when the action was initiated." Wang v. Phx. Satellite Television US, Inc., No. 13-CV-218 (PKC), 2014 WL 116220, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 13, 2014) (citation omitted). Plaintiff does not dispute that this matter "could have been brought in the Northern District of California," Dkt 35 at 7, and the Court agrees, Accordingly, § 1404(a)"s first requirement is satisfied, The remaining inquiry is, therefore, "whether the transfer promotes convenience and justice," Excelsior Designs, Inc., 291 F.Supp.2d at 185.

         II. Whether the Transfer Promotes ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.