West View Research, LLC v. BMW of North America, LLC et al, 3-16-cv-02590 (CASD February 5, 2018, Order) (Sammartino, USDJ)
Wednesday, February 7, 2018
Auto Dealership Facilities Do Not Qualify as Regular and Established Place of Business of Vehicle Manufacturer or Distributor
The court granted defendants' alternative motion to transfer plaintiff's patent infringement action for improper venue because defendants did not have a regular and established place of business through their dealerships in the district. "Defendants are two distinct corporate entities. . . . The dealerships are also separate corporate entities. . . . [T]here is no fact supporting that Defendants are the parent corporations of the dealerships owners or operators. . . . [T]here are no facts that Defendants even own any interest in the dealerships. Plaintiff’s theory is predicated on the Defendants’ operating agreement with the . . . dealerships exerting such control that the dealerships are essentially the same entity. This theory ignores the separate corporate forms of Defendants and the dealerships. The Court finds no facts to support collapsing the corporate forms; the dealerships’ physical locations are not places of Defendants."