United States District Court, N.D. Oklahoma
OPINION AND ORDER
V. EAGAN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is defendant Wingmaster Sales, LLC's motion to
dismiss (Dkt. # 24) plaintiff Stanley Filter Co., LLC's,
complaint (Dkt. # 2) under Rule 12(b)(2) of the Federal Rules
of Civil Procedure, arguing that this Court lacks personal
jurisdiction over defendant, or, in the alternative, under
Rule 12(b)(3), on the ground that venue is improper.
is a limited liability company organized and existing under
the laws of Oklahoma, which maintains its principal place of
business in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Dkt. # 2, at 1. Defendant is a
limited liability company organized and existing under the
laws of New Mexico, which maintains its principal place of
business in Hobbs, New Mexico. Dkt. # 25-1, at 2. Plaintiff
sells “downhole sand filters and oilfield
services” and owns several trademarks it utilizes in
its business Dkt. # 2, at 3-5. For the last twenty or
twenty-five years, pursuant to a distributor sales agency
agreement (the agreement), defendant distributed
plaintiff's filtration products exclusively in the New
Mexico and north Texas markets. Dkt. # 24-2, at
During this time, defendant routinely purchased
plaintiff's products. Dkt. # 26-1, at 1. Plaintiff took
defendant's orders in its home office and shipped them
from its warehouse, both of which were (and still are) in
Tulsa, Oklahoma. Id. at 1-2. In addition,
defendant's representatives met with plaintiff's
representatives in Tulsa at least “two or three times,
” including when one of defendant's representatives
attended a two-day seminar that plaintiff hosted Dkt. # 24-1,
to plaintiff, defendant “terminated the
agreement” in 2016. Dkt. # 26-1, at 2. In its reply,
defendant does not admit to terminating the agreement, but
acknowledges that the parties' “business
relationship” has been “terminated.” Dkt. #
28, at 5. In responding to the Court's order to produce a
copy of the agreement, however, affiant Richard Schlabach
(sole member of defendant) states that the “agreement .
. . was never terminated.” Dkt. # 36-1, at 2.
April 6, 2017, plaintiff filed this lawsuit, alleging that
defendant is promoting, advertising, distributing, selling,
or offering for sale, counterfeit goods that infringe on
plaintiff's trademarks. Dkt. # 2, at 6. In its complaint,
plaintiff brings claims for trademark counterfeiting and
infringement pursuant to the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. §
1051 et seq., false designation of origin and unfair
competition pursuant to the Lanham Act, common law unfair
competition, common law trademark infringement, breach of
contract, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and
fair dealing, and unjust enrichment. Id. at 8-15.
Defendant was served on April 24, 2017 via personal service.
Dkt. # 7; Dkt. # 8. On June 16, 2017, plaintiff filed a
motion for entry of default, which the Court Clerk granted.
Dkt. # 10; Dkt. # 12. On August 24, 2017, defendant moved to
set aside the Court Clerk's entry of default, and the
Court granted defendant's motion. Dkt. # 19; Dkt. # 22.
Defendant now moves (Dkt. # 24) to dismiss plaintiff's
Defendant's Motion to Dismiss
moves to dismiss plaintiff's complaint under Rule
12(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, arguing
that this Court lacks personal jurisdiction over defendant,
or, in the alternative, under Rule 12(b)(3), on the ground
that venue is improper. Dkt. # 24.
bears the burden of establishing that the Court has personal
jurisdiction over the defendant. OMI Holdings, Inc. v.
Royal Ins. Co. of Canada, 149 F.3d 1086, 1091 (10th Cir.
1998). “When a district court rules on a Fed.R.Civ.P.
12(b)(2) motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction
without holding an evidentiary hearing, . . . the plaintiff
need only make a prima facie showing of personal
jurisdiction to defeat the motion.” Id.
(citations omitted). “The plaintiff may make this
prima facie showing by demonstrating, via affidavit
or other written materials, facts that if true would support
jurisdiction over the defendant.” Id. at 1091.
“In order to defeat a plaintiff's prima
facie showing of jurisdiction, a defendant must present
a compelling case demonstrating ‘that the presence of
some other considerations would render jurisdiction
unreasonable.'” Id. (quoting Burger
King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 477 (1985)). The
allegations of the complaint must be accepted as true to the
extent that a defendant's affidavit does not controvert
them. Taylor v. Phelan, 912 F.2d 429, 431 (10th Cir.
1990). If the parties provide conflicting affidavits, all
factual disputes must be resolved in plaintiff's favor
and a prima facie showing of personal jurisdiction
is sufficient to overcome defendant's objection.
court to exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident
defendant, plaintiff must demonstrate the existence of every
fact required to satisfy both the forum's long-arm
statute and the Due Process Clause of the United States
Constitution. See O kla. Stat. tit. 12, §
2004(F). “Because Oklahoma's long-arm statute
permits the exercise of 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) (citing Rambo v. Am. S. Ins. Co., 839 F.2d
1415, 1416 (10th Cir. 1988)); see also Hough v.
Leonard, 867 P.2d 438, 442 (Okla. 1993).
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.'” Intercon, 205 F.3d at 1247
(quoting World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson, 444
U.S. 286, 291 (1980)). The existence of such minimum contacts
must be shown to support the exercise of either general
jurisdiction or specific jurisdiction. A court “may,
consistent with due process, assert specific jurisdiction
over a nonresident defendant ‘if the defendant has
purposefully directed his activities at the residents of the
forum, and the litigation results from alleged injuries that
arise out of or relate to those activities.'”
Id. at 1247 (quoting Burger King, 471 U.S.
at 472). “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. at 1247 (citing Helicopteros
Nacionales de Colombia v. Hall, 466 U.S. 408, 414-16,
Tenth Circuit, specific jurisdiction requires a two-step
analysis. First, courts “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.'” Benton v.
Cameco Corp., 375 F.3d 1070, 1075 (10th Cir. 2004)
(quoting World-Wide Volkswagen, 444 U.S. at 297). If
such minimum contacts exist, then courts must “consider
whether the exercise of personal jurisdiction over the
defendant offends ‘traditional notions of fair play and
substantial justice.'” Benton, 375 F.3d at
1075 (quoting OMI Holdings, 149 F.3d at 1091).