Hope Family Vineyards Pty, Ltd., v. Hope Wine, LLC, No. 08 C 3246, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jul. 11, 2008) (Lindberg, J.).

Judge Lindberg granted defendant’s §1404(a) motion to transfer to the Central District of California. Plaintiff was an Australian entity with its principal place of business in Australia. Its only direct connection to the Northern District was that its exclusive U.S. distributor was headquartered in Illinois. The distributor, however, was not a party to the suit. The Court therefore, gave plaintiff’s choice of forum minimal deference.

Defendant was a California entity with its principal place of business in the Central District of California. While defendant sold its wine on the internet, 90% of its sales were in California, and only 5% over the internet. Of that 5%, only four sales were to Illinois, including one to plaintiff’s distributor. Based on these facts, the alleged harm and confusion occurred in California, not Illinois.

Finally, transfer would increase the ease of access to the evidence because defendant, its documents and witnesses were all in California, and plaintiff would have to travel from Australia regardless of which district court heard the case.