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Centrip Networks, Inc. v. Keysight Technologies, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Virginia, Norfolk Division

November 15, 2017

CENTRIP NETWORKS, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
KEYSIGHT TECHNOLOGIES, INC. & IXIA, Defendants.

          OPINION & ORDER

          HENRY COKE MORGAN, JR., SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         This matter came before the Court pursuant to Defendants Keysight Technologies, Inc.'s ("Keysight's") and Ixia's (collectively, "Defendants'") Motion to Transfer Venue Under Section 1404(a) ("Motion to Transfer") and Keysight's Motion to Dismiss for Improper Venue ("Motion to Dismiss"). Docs. 23-24. The Court heard argument on these Motions on November 14, 2017, DENIED Defendant Ixia's Motion to Transfer, and reserved ruling on the Motion to Dismiss. After further consideration, and for the reasons stated herein, the Court DENIES Defendant Keysight's Motion to Dismiss, Doc. 23, and further explains its basis for DENYING Defendant Ixia's Motion to Transfer.

         I. BACKGROUND

         A. Factual Allegations[1]

         This action arises from the alleged infringement of four (4) of Plaintiffs patents: U.S. Patent No. 9, 264, 370 (the "'370 Patent"), U.S. Patent No. 9, 137, 205 (the '"205 Patent"), U.S. Patent No. 9, 560, 077 (the "'077 Patent"), and U.S. Patent No. 9, 413, 722 (the '"722 patent"). Doc. 1("Compl.") ¶¶6, 9-15.

         Plaintiff Centripetal is a network security company incorporated in Delaware with its principal place of business in Herndon, VA. Id. ¶ 1. Defendant Keysight is incorporated in Delaware with its principal place of business in Santa Rosa, CA. Id. ¶ 2. Defendant Ixia is incorporated in California with its principal place of business in Calabasas, CA, and as of April 18, 2017, is owned by Defendant Keysight. Id. ¶ 3.

         Plaintiff accuses the Ixia ThreatARMOR devices of infringing the '370 Patent, accuses those devices when used with Ixia's Application and Threat Intelligence servers, such as Ixia's Vision One devices, of infringing the '205 Patent and the '722 Patent, and accuses either setup of infringing the '077 Patent. Id. ¶¶ 16-62. Plaintiff seeks damages; injunctive relief; enhanced damages for willful infringement; attorneys' fees, costs, and expenses; and pre-judgment and post-judgment interest. Id. at 36-37.

         B. Procedural History

         Plaintiff filed its Complaint in this Court on July 20, 2017. See Compl. The Parties filed a consent Motion for and extension of time to respond to the Complaint, Doc. 8, which the Court GRANTED, Doc. 12. Defendants timely filed a Motion to Dismiss on September 5, 2017. Doc. 20. They simultaneously filed the instant Motion to Transfer and Motion to Dismiss. See Docs. 23-24. They also filed an Answer. Doc. 29. Plaintiff responded in opposition to the instant Motions on September 19, 2017. Doc. 32. Defendants replied on September 25, 2017. Doc. 35.

         II. LEGAL STANDARD

         A. Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Venue

         Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3), a defendant may move to dismiss an action where venue is improper. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(3). In patent infringement actions, venue is proper "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." 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b) (2017) ("§ 1400(b)"). Defendants must raise improper venue either in a motion made before a responsive pleading or as part of the responsive pleading, or they waive that defense. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b), 12(h)(1).

         In considering a motion under Rule 12(b)(3), a court may examine facts outside the complaint. See Symbology Innovations. LLC v. Lego Sys.. Inc., ___ F.Supp.3d ___, No. 2:17cv86, 2017 WL 4324841, at *4 (E.D. Va. Sept. 28, 2017) (citing 14D Charles A. Wright et al.. 14D Federal Practice and Procedure § 3826 & n. 30 (4th ed.)). When a defendant challenges the propriety of venue, plaintiff bears the burden of proof in this Circuit. Id. at *4 & n. 5 (observing that the issue varies by circuit and citing Smithfield Packing Co. v. V. Suarez & Ca, 857 F.Supp.2d 581, 584 (E.D. Va. 2012); Colonna's ...


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