South Bend, IN – The U.S. District Court of South Carolina has transferred a patent infringement case to Northern District Court of Indiana. The transfer comes after the South Carolina District Court granted the defendant’s motion to transfer the case. Ford Meter Box had moved to dismiss the complaint pursuant Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(1) and had asked for transfer to the Northern District of Indiana pursuant 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) in the alternative.
Last June, patent attorneys for FC Patents LLCof Ocala, Florida filed a patent infringement suit alleging that Ford Meter Box Company of Wabash, Indiana infringed patent no. D612,465, Residential fire service fixture, which was issued by the US Patent Office on March 23, 2010. Ford Meter Box manufactures, imports and sells fire service fixtures for water delivery. FC Patents claims that one of the products offered by Ford Meter Box, a “Residential Fire Service Fixture,” infringes upon their patent.
According the U.S. District Court of South Carolina‘s opinion and order transferring the case, FC Patents had filed the case in South Carolina because it claimed South Carolina was “approximately equal distance to each party.” The court, however, found good cause transfer the case to the Northern District Court of Indiana since none of the parties were residents of South Carolina and the controversy had little, if any, connection to South Carolina.
Practice Tip: In patent infringement lawsuits, courts have expressed a forum preference for the location where the infringing products are produced. “In a patent infringement action, as a general rule the preferred forum is . . . the hub of activity centered around [the infringing products] production.” Brown Mfg Corp. v. Alpha Lawn & Garden Equip., Inc. 219 F. Supp. 2d 705, 710 (E.D.Va. 2002). As the court pointed out in its transfer order, patent attorney can also file a patent infringement case in judicial district where the defendant is located. See 28 U.S.C. 1400(b) (“civil action for patent infringement may be brought in the judicial district where the defendant resides.”).Complaint – FC Patents v. Ford Meter
Further information about this case is as follows:
Filed: March 18, 2011 as 3:2011cv00116 Updated: March 19, 2011 01:04:32
Plaintiff: FC Patents LLC
Defendant: Ford Meter Box Company Inc, The
Presiding Judge: Theresa L Springmann
Referring Judge: Christopher A Nuechterlein
Cause Of Action: Patent Infringement