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Patent suit moves eastward ho.

A PATENT INFRINGEMENT CASE WILL relocate to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina after the Federal Circuit determined Dec. 2 that the district court erred in denying a transfer from the Eastern District of Texas.

Because the HIV drug Fuzeon was developed in North Carolina, Hoffmann- LaRoche argued in In Re Hoffmann LaRoche Inc. that there weren't any witnesses or other key evidence within 100 miles of the Eastern District of Texas. California-based Novartis, which alleged Fuzeon's active ingredient infringed on its patent, opposed moving the suit from Texas because the state is centrally located and the drug was marketed nationwide. The district court in Texas agreed the case was decentralized.

But the Federal Circuit thought differently. Documents involved with the development and testing of Fuzeon remain in the Eastern District of North Carolina. Several scientists who created the drug live and work in the area. And four nonparty witnesses live within 100 miles of the district. The court found no material reason why the case should stay in Texas other than 75,000 pages of electronic documents Novartis had transferred to its counsel there in anticipation of the litigation.

"[I]f not for this litigation, it appears that the documents would have remained a source of proof in California," Judge Arthur Gajarsa wrote in the order. "Thus, the assertion that these documents are 'Texas' documents is a fiction which appears to have been created to manipulate the propriety of venue."
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Title Annotation:FEDERAL CIRCUIT
Author:Williamson, Lauren
Date:Feb 1, 2010
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