United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division
PATRICK HANNA MAG. JUDGE.
A. DOUGHTY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss for Improper Venue
or, In the Alternative, to Transfer Venue [Doc. No. 17] filed
by the defendant, Stabil Drill Specialties, L.L.C.
Technologies, LLC (“Extreme”) filed a Complaint
against Stabil on February 21, 2019, in the United States
District Court, Western District of Louisiana, alleging
Stabil's Smoothbore™ eccentric reamer infringes on
three of Extreme's patents. Extreme had previously filed
the same Complaint in the United States District Court,
Southern District of Texas, on February 15, 2019. Extreme
dismissed the Texas case without prejudice on February 21,
2019, and refiled in this district the same day.
March 4, 2019, Stabil filed the pending Motion to Dismiss for
Improper Venue or, In the Alternative, to Transfer Venue.
Extreme filed an opposition to Stabil's motion on May 20,
2019 [Doc. No. 25]. A Reply [Doc. No. 28] was filed by Stabil
on May 29, 2019. This matter is ripe.
Rule 12(b)(3) motion, Stabil argues that Extreme's
Complaint is insufficient to support venue in this district,
that the allegations are vague, and that they do not identify
specific infringing acts by Stabil which occurred in the
Western District of Louisiana. Alternatively, Stabil argues
that this matter should be transferred to the Southern
District of Texas because venue is more convenient there. In
its opposition, Extreme maintains that venue is proper in the
Western District of Louisiana, in accordance with 28 U.S.C.
§ 1400(b), as Stabil “resides” in Louisiana
as a Louisiana limited liability company.
Extreme maintains that venue should not be transferred to the
Southern District of Texas, as Stabil has not proven that the
Southern District of Texas is “clearly more
convenient” than the Western District of Louisiana.
In re Volkswagen of America, Inc., 545 F.3d 304
(5th Cir. 2008).
TC Heartland, LLC v. Craft Foods Group Brands, LLC,
137 S.Ct. 1514 (2017), the Supreme Court held that the sole
and exclusive provision controlling venue in patent
infringement actions is 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b). Pursuant to
§ 1400(b), patent infringement suits may be brought in
the “judicial district where the defendant resides, or
where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and
has a regular and established place of business.” In
TC Heartland, the Supreme Court concluded that a
domestic corporation “resides” only in the state
burden to demonstrate proper venue upon a defendant's
motion to dismiss for lack of venue rests with the plaintiff.
In re ZTE (USA) Inc., 890 F.3d 1008 (Fed. Cir.
2018). The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth
Circuit take the practical approach of permitting district
courts to transfer a case under 28 U.S.C. §1404(a) or
§1406(a) without ever deciding whether venue is proper.
And, a party's motion to transfer under §1404(a) is
not an admission that venue is proper. Bentz v
Recile, 778 F.2d 1026 (5th Cir. 1985).
maintains that venue is not proper in the Western District of
Louisiana in that Extreme has not met either prong of 28
U.S.C. § 1400(b).
VENUE UNDER § 1400(b)
Judicial District Where The Defendant
first prong of § 1400(b), patent infringement suits may
be brought in the judicial district where the defendant
“resides.” The defendant, Stabil, is a limited
liability company that was formed in Louisiana, and which
also has a place of business in Louisiana. The courts are not
clear where an LLC “resides.” However, this court
believes that Extreme's argument is persuasive. Stabil is
a Louisiana LLC, formed in the State of Louisiana and does
business in the State of Louisiana. Stabil
“resides” in Louisiana.
Where The Defendant Has Committed Acts Of Infringement
And Has A Regular and ...