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September 18, 2014

Talk to Chuck, but Not Here: Patent Case Against Charles Schwab & Co. Transferred to Northern District of California

Charles Schwab & Company’s ad campaign exhorts viewers to Talk to Chuck® for financial advice.  A plaintiff that sued Charles Schwab & Company in Georgia for patent infringement, however, will have to talk to Charles Schwab about its case elsewhere.

Our August 23, 2012 post discussed three lawsuits filed on August 17 in the Northern District of Georgia by Joao Bock Transaction Systems, LLC (“JBTS”), one of which involves Charles Schwab. 

On January 3, 2013, the Northern District of Georgia entered an order granting Charles Schwab’s motion to transfer the case to the Northern District of California.  The court found that JBTS’ choice of forum was “entitled to little weight given [JBTS'] lack of connections to the Northern District of Georgia.” Further, the court did not find the presence of JBTS’ other 2 lawsuits in the District significant in its transfer determination.  JBTS did not show that all of the defendants’ technology was identical, and JBTS apparently “filed at least four other cases in districts around the United States.”  Finally, the court found that three other factors (convenience of witnesses, location of relevant documents and relative ease of access to sources of proof, and locus of operative facts) weighed “heavily” in favor of transferring the case to the Northern District of California.

The case transferred was Joao Bock Transaction Systems, LLC v. Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., No. 1:12-cv-02857-TWT, filed 08/17/12 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, and had been assigned to Judge Thomas W. Thrash, Jr.

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