Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Shipping Products and Communicating with Customers Do Not Establish Regular and Established Place of Business in Forum State Sufficient to Support Venue​

Following the Supreme Court ruling in TC Heartland, the court granted defendants' motions to transfer plaintiff's patent infringement action from the Southern District of Ohio to the Southern District of Texas because plaintiff failed to establish that defendants committed the acts of infringement in the forum or had a regular and established place of business there. "The unsupported allegations of plaintiff's complaint that defendants sold and/or offered for sale accused product to a company in this judicial district are insufficient to establish that defendants committed acts of infringement in this district for purposes of venue under § 1400(b). . . . [P]laintiff has not provided any evidence to establish that defendants employ local representatives or store any product in this district. The fact that defendants may communicate by email or telephone with customers in the Southern District of Ohio or ship product from Texas to customers in this district does not establish that defendants have a permanent and continuous presence here. . . . Likewise, the allegation that defendants 'may have physically visited .. . or otherwise been in this district for business' is not sufficient because even if true, such visits do not establish a permanent and continuous presence."

Stuebing Automatic Machine Company v. Gavronsky d/b/a Matamoros Machine Shop et al, 1-16-cv-00576 (OHSD June 12, 2017, Order) (Litkovitz, MJ)

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