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Run Them Sweet, LLC v. CPA Global Limited

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia

October 25, 2016

RUN THEM SWEET, LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
CPA GLOBAL LIMITED, et al., Defendants.

          ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO TRANSFER Re: ECF No. 20

          JON S. TIGAR United States District Judge

         In this case, California-based company Run Them Sweet has sued CPA Global Limited, which is located in Jersey, Channel Islands, and its American subsidiary, which is located in Alexandria, Virginia. The contract between the parties contains a forum selection clause requiring that “any legal action taken regarding this Agreement shall be brought in a U.S. District Court located in the Commonwealth of Virginia.” Defendants now move to enforce that clause and seek an order transferring the case to the Eastern District of Virginia under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). The Court grants the motion.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Background

         Plaintiff Run Them Sweet, LLC (RTS), “is a medical diagnostics company focused on the nutritional state of a patient.” ECF No. 1 ¶ 1. “RTS holds United States patents and patent applications that are registered in foreign countries. To maintain the foreign registration of these patents, RTS must pay annual fees to the foreign patent registrars in each country for each of its patents.” Id. “To manage these payments, RTS contracted with [Defendant] CPA Global Limited (CPA), which agreed to handle the payments in exchange for a fixed fee per patent.” Id. ¶ 2.

         Plaintiff, on behalf of itself and other plaintiffs similarly situated, alleges that it was overcharged various fees under its contract with CPA for patent renewal services performed on RTS's behalf by CPA “inflating certain fees, ” “outright inventing others, ” and “issu[ing] opaque invoices.” Id. ¶ 4-5; ECF No. 20-1, Declaration of Sally Jo Russell ¶ 5. The Complaint alleges claims for: (1) breach of contract, (1) unjust enrichment, and (3) violation of California's Unfair Competition Law (UCL), Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code § 17200 et seq.

         B. Jurisdiction

         This Court has jurisdiction pursuant to the Class Action Fairness Act of 2005 (“CAFA”), 28 U.S.C. § 1332(d)(2).

         C. Procedural History

         Plaintiff filed its class action Complaint on June 29, 2016. ECF No. 1. On August 18, 2016, Defendant filed this motion to transfer venue, requesting that the case be transferred to the Eastern District of Virginia. ECF No. 20. Plaintiff opposes the motion. ECF No. 25. The Court heard argument on October 25, 2016.

         II. MOTION TO TRANSFER

         A. The Forum Selection Clause

         The parties' relationship is governed by a written contract. ECF No. 1, Exh. A. Section 12 of that contract, entitled “Governing Law, ” states the following:

These conditions and any contract made under them shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the Commonwealth of Virginia, United States of America, with the understanding that any legal action taken regarding this Agreement shall be brought ...

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