District Judge Paul Englemayer

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Florida-based Enigma Software Grp. USA LLC markets the SpyHunter anti-malware computer program. Santa Clara, California-based competitor Malwarebytes’ own Anti-Malware (MBAM) detects and removes malware on consumers’ personal computers. Enigma alleged that in October 2016 Malware revised MBAM’s threat detection criteria to identify Engima’s products, including SpyHunter, as threats to consumers so as to damage Enigma’s reputation, and to disrupt or disable Enigma’s products to give Malwarebytes an unfair advantage. Although it declined to dismiss Enigma’s lawsuit against Malwarebytes for false advertising violating the Lanham Act, and under New York law for tortious interference with contractual and business relations, the court granted Malwarebytes’ motion to transfer venue, under 28 USC §1404, to the Northern District of California. The Northern District was the locus of operative fats, and the convenience of both witnesses and the parties strongly favored transfer. The most central witnesses in the case would likely be Malwarebytes employees called upon to testify about the process by which Malwarebytes revised its “Potentially Unwanted Programs” criteria so as to disfavor Enigma products.

District Judge Paul Englemayer

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Florida-based Enigma Software Grp. USA LLC markets the SpyHunter anti-malware computer program. Santa Clara, California-based competitor Malwarebytes’ own Anti-Malware (MBAM) detects and removes malware on consumers’ personal computers. Enigma alleged that in October 2016 Malware revised MBAM’s threat detection criteria to identify Engima’s products, including SpyHunter, as threats to consumers so as to damage Enigma’s reputation, and to disrupt or disable Enigma’s products to give Malwarebytes an unfair advantage. Although it declined to dismiss Enigma’s lawsuit against Malwarebytes for false advertising violating the Lanham Act, and under New York law for tortious interference with contractual and business relations, the court granted Malwarebytes’ motion to transfer venue, under 28 USC §1404, to the Northern District of California. The Northern District was the locus of operative fats, and the convenience of both witnesses and the parties strongly favored transfer. The most central witnesses in the case would likely be Malwarebytes employees called upon to testify about the process by which Malwarebytes revised its “Potentially Unwanted Programs” criteria so as to disfavor Enigma products.