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Microsoft Corp. v. Does

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

September 21, 2017

MICROSOFT CORPORATION, a Washington Corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
JOHN DOES 1-10 using IP address 66.51.73.111, Defendants.

          ORDER TRANSFERRING CASE TO MASSACHUSETTS

          RICARDO S. MARTINEZ, CHIEF UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter comes before the Court on Defendants Charlie's One Stop Computer Center Inc.'s (“Charlie I”) and Michael Aucoin's Motion to Dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2). Dkt. #27. For purposes of this motion, Defendants argue that this Court lacks jurisdiction because maintaining the action here is not reasonable. Id. at 3. Plaintiff opposes the motion on the merits, but does not oppose a transfer of this action to the District of Massachusetts. Dkt. #35. Accordingly, for the reasons discussed herein, the Court GRANTS Defendants' Motion in Part and hereby TRANSFERS this matter to Massachusetts.

         II. BACKGROUND

         On June 1, 2016, Plaintiff filed a Complaint against John Doe Defendants alleging that unknown persons had infringed on several software trademarks by illegally installing such software on computers using fraudulent product keys. See Dkt. #1. On June 23, 2016, Microsoft sought expedited discovery to uncover the identity of the John Doe Defendants, which this Court granted. Dkts. #5 and #7. As a result, Plaintiff identified Defendant Charlie's One Stop Computer Center II, Inc. (“Charlie's II”), an entity that had purchased assets of Charlie I. Id. Plaintiff amended its Complaint for a second time on May 10, 2017, to add Charlie I and Mr. Aucoin as additional Defendants. Dkt. #17. The instant motion followed.

         III. DISCUSSSION

          A. Legal Standard for Transfers of Venue

          Under 28 U.S.C. § 1404, this Court has discretion to transfer this case in the interests of convenience and justice to another district in which venue would be proper. See Jones v. GNC Franchising, Inc., 211 F.3d 495, 498 (9th Cir. 2000). Specifically, Section 1404(a) states:

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 or to any district or division to which all parties have consented.

28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). The purpose of this statute is to “prevent the waste of time, energy, and money and to protect litigants, witnesses and the public against unnecessary inconvenience and expense.” Pedigo Prods., Inc. v. Kimberly-Clark Worldwide, Inc., No. 3:12-CV-05502-BHS, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12690, 2013 WL 364814, at *2 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 30, 2013) (quoting Van Dusen v. Barrack, 376 U.S. 612, 616, 84 S.Ct. 805, 11 L.Ed.2d 945 (1964)).

         In the instant matter, Defendants admit that the District of Massachusetts as an alternate forum “exists and is available here.” Dkt. #27 at 8. Defendants further admit that they both “reside” and “may be found” in that District, that it will be more convenient, and more efficient. Id. at 8-12. Plaintiff does not oppose the transfer of this matter to the District of Massachusetts. Dkt. #35 at 15-16. In fact, Plaintiff asserts that if this Court were to dismiss this action for lack of personal jurisdiction, it would simply refile the matter against the Defendants in that District. Dkt. #35 at 16.

         Accordingly, having reviewed the parties' briefing, the Declarations in support thereof, and the remainder of the record, the Court finds that transfer is appropriate.

         B. Request for Attorney's Fees

         Defendants seek attorney's fees pursuant to RCW 4.28.185(5) for the costs associated with litigating this matter in Washington. Dkt. #27 at 15. Washington's long-arm statute provides that if a defendant is served under the statute “and prevails in the action, there may be taxed and allowed to the defendant as part of the costs of defending the action a reasonable amount to be fixed by the court as attorney's fees.” RCW 4.28.185(5). Plaintiff opposes the request, arguing that its matter was brought in this jurisdiction in good faith, it was not meant for ...


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