Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

BOS GMBH & Co. KG v. Macauto USA, Inc.

United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division

December 21, 2017

BOS GMBH & Co. KG and BOS AUTOMOTIVE PRODUCTS, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
MACAUTO USA, INC., and MACAUTO INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD., Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT MACAUTO TAIWAN'S MOTION TO DISMISS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION (DKT. 16)

          TERRENCE G. BERG UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         I. Introduction

         This is a patent infringement lawsuit. The Plaintiffs, a German company and its Michigan-based subsidiary, allege that Defendants, a Taiwanese company and its American subsidiary, manufacture, import, and sell retractable rear window shades to American auto manufacturers and auto part suppliers using technology that infringes Plaintiffs' patent. The Taiwanese corporate Defendant has moved to dismiss this action against it for lack of personal jurisdiction. For the reasons outlined below, Defendant's Motion to Dismiss is DENIED.

         II. Background

         BOS GmbH & Co. KG (“BOS Germany) and BOS Automotive Products, Inc. (“BOS USA”) (collectively “Plaintiffs”) filed this patent infringement action against Defendants Macauto USA, Inc. (“Macauto USA”), Kunshan Macauto Automobile Parts Industry Co., Ltd. (“Macauto China”), and Macauto Industrial Co., Ltd. (“Ma-cauto Taiwan”) (collectively “Defendants”) on February 13, 2017. Dkt. 1.

         The parties stipulated to the dismissal of Macauto China on May 12, 2017. Dkt. 15. Defendant Macauto Taiwan and Macauto USA are the two remaining Defendants, and Defendant Macauto Taiwan now seeks dismissal from this case for lack of personal jurisdiction. Dkt. 16.

         Plaintiffs allege Defendants violated United States patent laws, 35 U.S.C. § 271, by infringing on Plaintiffs' U.S. Patent No. 7, 188, 659 (the “'659 Patent”). Plaintiff BOS Germany has owned the '659 Patent for “Injection-Molded Plastic Guide Rail” technology since March 2007, and exclusively licensed it in the United States to BOS USA. Dkt. 1 at Pg ID 2, 7-8; Dkt 1-1 at Pg ID 21.

         According to Plaintiffs, Defendant Macauto Taiwan manufactures retractable rear window shades overseas that use this patented “guide rail” technology and then ships them through various United States ports of entry to companies in different states, including Ford Motor Company in Dearborn, Michigan. Dkt 1 at Pg ID 4-5. Plaintiffs allege these window shades are then installed in cars, which are manufactured and sold in Michigan by Lincoln Motor Company, a subsidiary of Ford Motor Company. Dkt. 1 at Pg ID 2, 8-9, 13, 14-15. Plaintiffs also allege a product using their patented guide rail design, but manufactured by Defendant Macauto Taiwan, is available for sale at a Ford dealership in Rochester Hills, Michigan. Dkt. 1 at Pg ID 10.

         Plaintiffs argue that the Court has personal jurisdiction over Defendant Macauto Taiwan under the Michigan Long-Arm Statute, Mich. Comp. Laws §600.716 because: 1) Defendant Macauto Taiwan transacted business in Michigan by designing, manufacturing, importing, and selling these infringing products to Michigan auto manufacturers and automotive parts suppliers including Ford, and 2) Defendant Macauto Taiwan sold these infringing products knowing they would be supplied to Michigan auto manufacturers and automotive parts suppliers. Dkt. 1 at Pg ID 5.

         Defendant Macauto Taiwan filed this Motion to Dismiss on June 1, 2017.[1] In that Motion Defendant argues: 1) Plaintiffs have not established the Court may exercise general jurisdiction over the company because they have not alleged “continuous or systematic contacts” with Michigan, Dkt. 16 at Pg ID 103-105; 2) Plaintiffs have not established the Court may exercise specific jurisdiction over the company because they have not alleged sufficient minimum contacts with Michigan that gave rise to this litigation, Dkt. 16 at Pg ID 105-107; and 3) Plaintiffs have not established any other basis for personal jurisdiction under either a stream of commerce or alter-ego theory. Dkt. 16 at Pg ID 107-10.

         Plaintiffs responded that they have only argued the Court has specific personal jurisdiction over Defendant Macauto Taiwan based on its regular, documented supply of the allegedly infringing product to at least one Michigan auto manufacturer. Dkt. 18 at Pg. ID 178-183.

         For the reasons discussed below the Court finds Plaintiffs have made sufficient allegations at this stage of the proceedings to demonstrate the Court may exercise specific personal jurisdiction over Defendant Macauto Taiwan.

         III. Standard of Review

         A party may assert lack of personal jurisdiction as a defense under Fed. R. Civ. Pro. 12(b)(2). Where, as here, the district court relies on the written submissions and affidavits of parties rather than based on an evidentiary hearing or limited discovery the Plaintiff need only make a prima facie showing that personal jurisdiction exists. Air Products and Controls, Inc. v. Safetech Intern., Inc., 503 F.3d 544, 549 (6th Cir. 2007); see also Elecs. for Imaging, Inc. v. Coyle, 340 F.3d 1344, 1349 (Fed. Cir. 2003)(“[W]here the district court's disposition as to the personal jurisdictional question is based on affidavits and ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.