Magistrate Judge Burke recommends transfer of case to the Northern District of Georgia.

In a recent report, Magistrate Judge Christopher J. Burke recommended that a case involving patents related to controlling remote access to corporate resources be transferred to the Northern District of Georgia.  Good Technology Corp. v. Airwatch, LLC, C.A. No. 14-1092-LPS-CJB (D. Del. Jan. 21, 2015).  Judge Burke’s recommendation was based on a finding that, on balance, the combination of several factors under Jumara v. State Farm Insurance Co., 55 F.3d 873 (3d Cir. 1995) supported the recommended transfer.  Id. at 26.

Of note, Judge Burke explained that two other patent infringement cases between the parties, both Delaware entities, had recently been filed in the Northern District of Georgia,  id. at 3, and although the patents asserted in those cases were not related to the patents at issue in this case, they could all “generally be described as relating to ‘technologies for controlling remote access to corporate resources[,]’” and appeared “to use some of the same claim terminology.”  Id. at 19, 19 n.8.  Further, although “AirWatch is a global company, ‘virtually all of AirWatch’s research, design, development, and marketing of the accused AirWatch products took place in Atlanta’ and thus that the ‘foreseeable witnesses with knowledge of the design, development, operation, finances, sales, and marketing of these products reside and work in Atlanta, Georgia.”  Id. at 11 (emphasis in original).   Finally, Judge Burke agreed that administrative efficiencies could potentially be gained by transferring the case to the Northern District of Georgia where, it was undisputed, the time to trial (at least based on 2013 data) was on average 13.3 months shorter than in the District of Delaware, and where there were only 60 open patent cases (as of June 2014) compared to over 1,400 in the District of Delaware.  Id. at 21.  But in light of Chief Judge Stark’s recent adoption of new procedures in patent cases filed after July 1, 2014, which Judge Burke explained would “no doubt speed the average time to trial in patent cases like this one[,]” Judge Burke found that the defendant’s argument about administrative efficiencies weighed only slightly in its favor.  Id. at 22-23.  Nevertheless, considering the weight of all of the Jumara factors, Judge Burke recommended transferring the case.

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