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Wilspec Technologies, Inc. v. Rugao Isen Electronic Co., Ltd.

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

August 25, 2017

WILSPEC TECHNOLOGIES, INC., an Oklahoma Corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
RUGAO ISEN ELECTRONIC CO., LTD., AKA ISEN CONTROLS, a Chinese Company, and CAI ZHANLING, an Individual, Defendants.

          ORDER

          VICKI MlLES-LaGRANGEUNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Before the Court is defendants' Corrected Amended Motion to Dismiss, filed June 20, 2017. On July 11, 2017, plaintiff filed its response. Defendants have filed no reply.

         I. Introduction

         In the instant action, plaintiff is seeking injunctive relief and monetary damages arising out of defendants' alleged infringement and unauthorized use of plaintiff's copyrighted pictures of products. Plaintiff further alleges defendants have engaged in false advertising, false designation of origin, deceptive and unfair trade practices, unfair competition, and passing off. Defendants now move this Court, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2), (6), to dismiss this action on the following bases: (1) plaintiff's failure to state a cause of action upon which relief can be granted; (2) lack of personal jurisdiction; (3) misapplication of the Lanham Act to support a copyright violation; (4) failure to state a cause of action under the Oklahoma Deceptive Trade Practices Act; and (5) material misstatements of facts in the Amended Complaint.

         II. Discussion

         A. Personal jurisdiction

         When a court's personal jurisdiction is contested, the plaintiff has the burden of proving that jurisdiction exists. See ASAT Sports Sci., Inc. v. CLF Distrib. Ltd., 514 F.3d 1054, 1056 (10th Cir. 2008). “Where a district court considers a pre-trial motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction without conducting an evidentiary hearing, the plaintiff need only make a prima facie showing of personal jurisdiction to defeat the motion.” Id. at 1056-57.

To obtain personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant in a diversity action, a plaintiff must show both that jurisdiction is proper under the laws of the forum state and that the exercise of jurisdiction would not offend due process. Because Oklahoma's long-arm statute permits the exercise of any jurisdiction that is consistent with the United States Constitution, the personal jurisdiction inquiry under Oklahoma law collapses into the single due process inquiry.

Intercon, Inc. v. Bell Atl. Internet Solutions, Inc., 205 F.3d 1244, 1247 (10th Cir. 2000) (internal citations omitted).

The Due Process Clause permits the exercise of personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant so long as there exist minimum contacts between the defendant and the forum State. The “minimum contacts” standard may be met in two ways. First, a court may, consistent with due process, assert specific jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant if the defendant has purposefully directed his activities at residents of the forum, and the litigation results from alleged injuries that arise out of or relate to those activities. When a plaintiff's cause of action does not arise directly from a defendant's forum-related activities, the court may nonetheless maintain general personal jurisdiction over the defendant based on the defendant's business contacts with the forum state.

Id. (internal quotations and citations omitted).[1]

A specific jurisdiction analysis involves a two-step inquiry. First [a court] must consider whether the defendant's conduct and connection with the forum State are such that he should reasonably anticipate being haled into court there. Second if the defendant's actions create sufficient minimum contacts, [a court] must then consider whether the exercise of personal jurisdiction over the defendant offends traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.

Benton v. Cameco Corp., 375 F.3d 1070, 1075 (10th Cir. 2004) (internal quotations and citations omitted). “A defendant's contacts are sufficient if the defendant purposefully directed its activities at residents of the forum, and . . . the plaintiff's claim arises out of or results from actions by the defendant himself that create a substantial connection with the forum state.” Id. at 1076 (internal quotations and citation omitted) (emphasis in original). Further, whether a defendant has the required minimum contacts must be decided on the particular facts of each case. See id.

         Having carefully reviewed the parties' submissions, the Court finds that plaintiff has made a prima facie showing of personal jurisdiction. Specifically, the Court finds plaintiff has submitted sufficient evidence showing that defendants operate Isen Controls. The Court further finds plaintiff has submitted sufficient evidence showing that defendants purposefully directed their actions at Oklahoma residents and that plaintiff's claims arise out of these actions; plaintiff has submitted evidence showing that defendants sent Merkler, an Oklahoma entity, “Isen Controls” promotional material that contains plaintiff's copyrighted material. The Court, therefore, finds that defendants have the requisite minimum contacts. Additionally, the Court finds the exercise of personal jurisdiction over defendants does not ...


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