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Medpro, Inc., et al v. Syneron

December 14, 2011

MEDPRO, INC., ET AL., PLAINTIFFS,
v.
SYNERON, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Jerome B. Simandle

SIMANDLE, District Judge:

OPINION

I. INTRODUCTION

This matter is before the Court on Defendant Matthew Justin Willner's motion to transfer case to Southern District of Florida. [Docket Item 73.] Defendant Willner argues that venue should be transferred pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a) because the Southern District of Florida is the more convenient forum and the interests of justice favor transfer. The Plaintiffs jointly oppose this motion and argue that venue should remain in New Jersey. Defendant Syneron and Defendant Tringali also oppose this motion and maintain that New Jersey is the proper venue for this action.

For the reasons discussed herein, the Court will deny Defendant Willner's motion to transfer and venue will remain in the District of New Jersey.

II. BACKGROUND

The instant action arises out of alleged unlawful competition between Medpro, Inc. and Syneron, Inc., companies which are both involved in the selling of medical equipment. This alleged unlawful conduct by Syneron and co-defendants Rory Tringali and Matthew Justin Willner includes disruption and impairment of Medpro's computer services and sending large bulk quantities of unsolicited emails.

Plaintiffs Medpro, Inc., Physicians Information Services, Inc., Michael Moreno, and Justin Williams (collectively "the Plaintiffs") filed the instant complaint in the District of New Jersey on July 9, 2008. [Docket Item 1.] The complaint alleges Defendants Syneron, Inc., Rory Tringali and Matthew Justin Willner: (1) violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986; (2) violated the Lanham Act; (3) engaged in common law infringement and unfair competition; (4) violated the New Jersey Unfair Competition Statute; (5) converted plaintiffs' property; (6) engaged in tortious interference with prospective business relationships; (7) engaged in a trespass to chattels; (8) violated the New Jersey Computer Fraud Act; and (9) violated the Can Spam Act.

The parties in this case are diverse. Medpro is a New Jersey corporation with its principal place of business in New Jersey. Michael Moreno is the sole owner of Medpro and is a resident of New Jersey. Physicians Inc. is a Utah corporation with its principal place of business in Utah. Justin Williams is a Utah resident and is the sole owner of Physicians Inc. Defendant Syneron is a foreign corporation organized under the law of Israel and has a United States sales office in California. Defendant Tringali is a resident of the State of New York currently residing in Hicksville, New York. [Docket Item 35.]

Defendant Willner is an individual and resident of Miami Beach, Florida.

On October 22, 2008, Defendant Syneron filed an answer with affirmative defenses, and a cross-claim against Defendant Tringali and Defendant Willner respectively. [Docket Item 12.]

On October 27, 2008, Defendant Willner filed a motion to stay the instant action pending the outcome of pending criminal proceedings brought by the State of New Jersey against Defendant Willner and Defendant Tringali. [Docket Item 15.] New Jersey indicted both Willner and Tringali for several offenses, including computer theft. Willner argued that a stay was appropriate because the pending New Jersey criminal case "involves many of the same facts - if not the exact same facts -as those sought by Plaintiff MedPro, Inc. in connection with its Complaint. . ." [Docket Item 15, Def. Willner's Br. at 2.] The Court granted this stay on December 3, 2008.

Defendant Willner pled guilty to these criminal charges; however, Willner's plea agreement reserved the issue of territorial jurisdiction. Defendant Tringali's indictment was withdrawn in 2008 and the State then re-indicted Tringali in April, 2011, on the same charges brought in the original indictment. Tringali has not pled guilty to the charged offenses and the criminal case remains pending. Therefore, Willner can withdraw his plea if Tringali succeeds in his challenge to the territorial jurisdiction of the indictment. In the course of New Jersey's criminal investigation, several documents and computers belonging to Syneron, Willner and Tringali were seized and are currently in New Jersey state custody. [Docket Item 72]

In response to Willner's guilty plea, Syneron filed a motion to lift the stay. The stay was subsequently lifted on ...


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