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Ford Motor Co. v. Launch Tech Co. Ltd.

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

February 26, 2018

FORD MOTOR COMPANY and FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC Plaintiffs,
v.
LAUNCH TECH CO. LTD. and LAUNCH TECH (USA), INC. Defendants.

          ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT LAUNCH TECH CO. LTD.'S MOTION TO DISMISS [27]; DENYING DEFENDANT LAUNCH TECH (USA), INC.'S MOTION TO DISMISS [33]; AND MOOTING DEFENDANT LAUNCH TECH CO. LTD.'S EMERGENCY MOTION TO STAY [31].

          Nancy G. Edmunds United States District Judge.

         Plaintiffs Ford Motor Company and Ford Global Technologies, LLC (collectively “Ford”) bring this action against Defendants Launch Tech Co. LTD. (“Launch China”) and Launch Tech (USA), Inc. (“Launch USA”) alleging trademark and copyright infringement, false designation of origin, unfair and deceptive trade practices, trademark dilution, misappropriation of trade secrets, and breach of contract. Ford claims that Defendants acted in concert to hack Ford's automobile-diagnostic software, copy Ford's proprietary data compilations, and paste the proprietary data into Defendants' own competing diagnostic software. Ford further claims that Defendants infringed upon the world-famous Ford trademarks, utilizing them in Defendants' diagnostic products and promotional materials.

         Currently before the Court are Defendants' motions to dismiss (Dkt. # 27; Dkt. # 33), which have been fully briefed.[1] The Court heard oral argument on the motions on February 15, 2018. Also before the Court is Launch China's Emergency Motion to Stay Briefing in Response to Plaintiffs' Motions for Preliminary Injunction and Expedited Discovery (Dkt. # 31) and Ford's response in opposition (Dkt. # 35).[2] For the reasons stated below, this Court DENIES Launch China's motion to dismiss, DENIES Launch USA's motion to dismiss, and MOOTS Launch China's motion to stay.

         I. FACTS

         Ford is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Dearborn, Michigan. Ford is a leading automobile manufacturer that also develops and sells automobile repair products. Specifically, Ford has developed the Ford Integrated Diagnostic System (“IDS”), a system which includes hardware and software used to diagnose Ford vehicles and facilitate their service and repair.

         Defendant Launch China is a Chinese corporation having its principal place of business in Shenzhen, China. Launch China develops automobile diagnostic products and sells them throughout the world through third-party distributors.[3] One such distributor is Defendant Launch USA, a California corporation having its principal place of business in Ontario, California. Launch USA purchases automobile diagnostic products from Launch China and distributes them throughout the United states via a network of distributors.[4]

         According to Ford, Launch China develops the allegedly infringing automobile repair products at issue in this litigation. Ford points to a letter in which counsel for Launch USA represented to Ford that the products sold by Launch USA are “provided complete” by Launch China to Launch USA, and that Launch USA “has nothing to do with writing the software.” See Dkt. # 16-5, Pg ID 247. Ford claims that Launch USA markets, sells, furnishes, and supports the allegedly infringing products throughout the United States, including in Michigan.[5] Alternatively, Ford claims that Launch China and Launch USA collaborate and develop the allegedly infringing products together. Ford alleges its agents have purchased Defendants' products at retail stores in Michigan.

         According to the First Amended Complaint, “Launch Tech”[6] is a member of the Equipment and Tools Institute (“ETI”), a Michigan-based trade association with its principal place of business in Farmington Hills, Michigan. See Dkt. # 16-2, Pg ID 235. ETI gathers diagnostic information from original equipment manufacturers, such as Ford, and makes the information available to other manufacturers of diagnostic tools via its library for ETI members. Ford alleges that Harlan Siegel and John Marsh, Launch USA employees, are active participants in ETI and based in Michigan. See Dkt. # 16-3; Dkt. # 16-4. Ford claims that Launch China obtains diagnostic information relating to Ford vehicles from ETI's library to develop the allegedly infringing products. In the alternative, Ford alleges that Launch USA obtains diagnostic information relating to Ford vehicles from ETI's library and collaborates with Launch China to develop the allegedly infringing products.

         Additionally, Ford alleges that a company identified as “L aunch”[7] has purchased at least one active version of Ford's IDS software since November 2013.[8] See Dkt. # 16-8. The contact information for “L aunch” indicates it is located at 1820 S Miliken Ave., Ontario, California (Launch USA's principal business address) and associated with Launch USA email addresses. See Id. In July 2017, Ford provided copies of the End-User License Agreements (“EULAs”) applicable to various versions of the IDS software to counsel for Launch China, and noted that Ford believes Defendants are in violation of the EULAs, which expressly prohibit reverse engineering. See Dkt. # 16-19. The applicable EULA must be accepted by a user prior to installation and use of the IDS software. The EULAs also provide that an “End-User” cannot be a “diagnostic toolmaker.” Ford alleges that Defendants acquired and utilized the IDS software despite being diagnostic toolmakers and violated the terms of the EULAs by engaging in reverse engineering. In so doing, Launch China improperly obtained information relating to Ford's vehicles, which it then used to develop the allegedly infringing products at issue in this case. In the alternative, Ford claims that Launch USA improperly obtained information relating to Ford's vehicles from the IDS software and collaborated and conspired with Launch China to develop the allegedly infringing products at issue in this case.[9]

         According to the First Amended Complaint, Defendants acted in concert to hack Ford's IDS system. The IDS software contains various compilations of data, some of which are made generally available pursuant to federal statutes, and some of which constitute trade secrets used by Ford and its network of authorized dealers and repair facilities. Ford protects trade secret information included in the IDS software utilizing encryption and obfuscation technology. Ford also has copyright registrations for several compilations of data included in the IDS software.

         According to a declaration from Jared L. Cherry, counsel for Ford, Ford sent a demand letter to counsel for Launch China in July 2017 seeking production of information in an attempt to settle this dispute. See Dkt. # 19, Pg ID 444. On November 14, 2017, Defendants made available for Ford's review the underlying source code and data files that correspond to the products at issue.[10] Ford claims it found precise references to 25 files contained in Ford's IDS software preceding data copied from those files; fictitious data records intentionally planted by Ford to ensnare hackers and then copied by Defendants from IDS; highly idiosyncratic expressions inapplicable to Defendants' products; programmer comments referring to the specific versions of IDS from which Defendants extracted data; and code that searches for and discards information associated with certain terms connected to fictitious data intentionally planted by Ford. More specifically, Ford makes the following allegations based on information discovered during the source code review.

         Ford has a copyright registration for the CALIDVIDQIDREC file, a data compilation included in the IDS software. See Dkt. # 16-12. Ford alleges that Defendants' products include an improperly obtained copy of Ford's CALIDVIDQIDREC file. According to Ford, the code for the Launch X-431 V product includes multiple references to Ford's CALIDVIDQIDREC file, including a function called “SearchCALIDVIDQIDREC” within a file called “USAFORDFILE.so.” Defendants' software also includes 21 files named FORD00.BIN through FORD20.BIN which are found in several of Defendants' products. The file named FORD02.BIN comprises multiple rows and columns, and the columns correspond to and are in the same order as Ford's CALIDVIDQIDREC file. Column A7 in Ford's CALIDVIDQIDREC file includes fictitious records and is not distributed by Ford. Column A7 along with the fictitious records is also found in Defendants' FORD02.BIN file.

         Ford, Launch China, and Launch USA were all involved in a prior lawsuit in which Ford alleged that the defendants, Autel U.S. Inc. and Autel Intelligent Technology Co., Ltd., had copied Ford's CALIDVIDQIDREC file.[11] Specifically, Ford alleged that Autel's copying was established by the presence of fictitious entries that included the terms “TEST” and “DUMMY.” In this case, Ford alleges that Defendants used information from the Autel litigation to better hide their acts of infringement and misappropriation. Ford notes that Defendants produced a file called DiagReadFile.cpp during the source code review that searchers for and excludes records associated with the terms “TEST” and “DUMMY.” Ford also has a copyright registration for the MNEMONICSENG file, another data compilation included in the IDS software. See Dkt. # 16-13. Ford alleges that Defendants' products include an improperly obtained copy of Ford's MNEMONICSENG file. According to Ford, the Launch X-431 V product displays text that is identical to specific entries in Ford's MNEMONICSENG file. See Dkt. # 16-14. Ford notes that Defendants produced a file called ENTEXT.TXT during the source code review, which is incorporated into a file called USAFORDEN.GGP. Ford discovered three examples of idiosyncratic text present at the same frequency in both Defendants' ENTEXT.TXT file and Ford's MNEMONICSENG file. One example involves references to a “tick” button, which Ford's IDS Software incorporates. Despite repeated references to a “tick” button in Defendants' ENTEXT.TXT file, none of Defendants' products incorporate a “tick” button. See Dkt. # 16, Pg ID 200-01. Ford alleges that the following products developed by Defendants include a file called USAFORDEN.GGP: Launch X-431 Pro, Launch X-431 V, iDiag App, EasyDiag product, Diagun product, Creader Professional CRP129, and other products.

         According to Ford, Defendants' products incorporate Ford's trade secrets in the form of specific files that constitute trade secrets owned by Ford that were copied in the files produced by Launch China during the source code review as specified in the First Amended Complaint.[12] See Dkt. # 16, Pg ID 203-04. Launch China produced a file called Ford99.H, which specifically referred to “ids104" and “ids100.” Ford alleges that these terms refer to the specific versions of Ford's IDS software from which the files were copied: version 100 and 104 of Ford's IDS software released on April 13, 2016 and February 1, 2017 respectively.

         Another example of the alleged misappropriation of trade secrets involves Ford's Passive Anti-Theft System, which is accessed using security bytes and related algorithms. Ford alleges that these security bytes and related algorithms constitute Ford's trade secrets. Ford licenses certain third parties to use the security bytes and related algorithms pursuant to agreements requiring that they be maintained in strict confidence and outlining steps to protect the secrecy of the data. Ford has not licensed Defendants to use these security bytes and related algorithms, yet Defendants' products support features requiring access to the security bytes and related algorithms, such as key reprogramming and control of a vehicle's anti-lock braking module. Ford further alleges that Launch China has advertised the ability of its X-431 Pro and X-431 Pro 3 products to control the anti-theft key matching method. See Dkt. # 16, Pg ID 206.

         Ford also alleges that Defendants created a program named PARSEALL.EXE, which is designed to obtain unauthorized access to data compilations within Ford's IDS software. Ford notes that, prior to the Autel litigation, James Jiang, Launch China's Executive Vice President, authored a document describing how the PARSEALL.EXE program accesses proprietary and confidential information stored in Ford's IDS software. See Dkt. # 16, Pg ID 209-10; Dkt. # 16-16; Dkt. # 16-17; Dkt. # 16-18. Ford claims that Defendants used PARSEALL.EXE to extract data from Ford's IDS software and copy it onto products sold by Defendants that are in direct competition with Ford's products. In the alternative, Ford alleges that Defendants reversed engineered Ford's IDS software to extract confidential and proprietary information.

         According to the First Amended Complaint, Ford has exclusive ownership of several trademark registrations for “Ford, ” “Ford Stylized, ” the “Ford Oval, ” and the “Lincoln Star” in the United States and worldwide. See Dkt. # 16, Pg ID 183; Dkt. # 16-9. Ford claims it has spent billions of dollars establishing considerable goodwill in these world-famous trademarks, which are recognized as symbols of high quality automotive goods and services. Ford alleges that Defendants' products, web sites, and advertising materials misappropriate Ford's trademarks. On January 3, 2012, Ford sent a cease and desist letter to Launch USA objecting to the use of the Ford Oval on Defendants' website and products. See Dkt. # 16-10, Pg ID 289. Ford demanded that Launch USA delete any Ford trademarks from its website and any products and refrain from using Ford trademarks on advertising materials. Launch USA signed and returned a copy of the cease and desist letter indicating its assent.

         Nevertheless, Ford alleges that Defendants have continued to use Ford trademarks on products and advertising materials, breaching the cease and desist agreement. For example, in January 2015, U.S. Customs and Border Protection detained a shipment of the Launch X-431 Diagun product because of the presence of the Ford Oval on the packaging and concerns that the product was a counterfeit because of its inferior quality. See Dkt. # 16-11. This product also displays the Ford Oval on the device and includes electronic images of the Ford Oval on a memory card included in the product. Ford claims that the X-431 V and X-431 Pro products also include electronic files of the Ford, Ford Stylized, Ford Oval, and Lincoln Star trademarks. See Dkt. # 16, Pg ID 186-89. Launch USA has also used the Ford Oval trademark on its website and promotional material. See Id. at Pg ID 190. Launch China's iDiag app, which Launch China made available through the Apple iTunes Store through at least July 17, 2017, also features the Ford Oval trademark. See Id. at Pg ID 191. Launch China made its iDiag app available through other app providers as well.

         II. ANALYSIS

         Defendants move to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, improper venue, and failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. In the alternative, Launch USA requests that the Court transfer this action to the Central District of California.

         A. Personal Jurisdiction

         Defendants argue that the Court should dismiss this case because the Court lacks personal jurisdiction over Defendants. Defendants claim that they have not had any contact whatsoever with Michigan to create personal jurisdiction over them.

         Ford responds that Defendants have engaged in numerous activities purposefully directed toward Michigan that give rise to Ford's claims and subject Defendants to limited personal jurisdiction here.

         Rule 12(b)(2) provides for a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(2). The party seeking to establish personal jurisdiction bears the burden of proving that the jurisdiction exists. Theunissen v. Matthews, 935 F.2d 1454, 1458 (6th Cir.1991) (citing McNutt v. General Motors Acceptance Corp., 298 U.S. 178, 189 (1936)). When deciding such a motion, the court may “determine the motion on the basis of affidavits alone; or it may permit discovery in aid of the motion; or it may conduct an evidentiary hearing on the merits of the motion.” Serras v. First Tennessee Bank Nat'l Ass'n, 875 F.2d 1212, 1214 (6th Cir. 1989). The parties in this case have not requested preliminary discovery or an evidentiary hearing on the jurisdictional issues. Accordingly, the Court proceeds solely on the basis of the facts alleged in the pleadings, motions, and affidavits filed.

         When a court rules on a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction without holding an evidentiary hearing, “the court must consider the pleadings and affidavits in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. To defeat such a motion, the plaintiff need only make a prima facie showing of jurisdiction. Furthermore, a court does not weigh the controverting assertions of the party seeking dismissal.” Dean v. Motel 6 Operating L.P., 134 F.3d 1269, 1272 (6th Cir. 1998) (citing CompuServe, Inc. v. Patterson, 89 F.3d 1257, 1262 (6th Cir. 1996)).

         Personal jurisdiction over a defendant is proper only if it comports with the requirements of the state long-arm statute and federal constitutional due process. See CompuServe, 89 F.3d at 1262. “Where the state long-arm statute extends to the limits of the due process clause, the two inquiries are merged and the court need only determine whether exercising personal jurisdiction violates constitutional due process.” Bridgeport Music, Inc. v. Still N The Water Pub., 327 F.3d 472, 477 (6th Cir. 2003).

         The Michigan long-arm statute provides for limited personal jurisdiction over corporations who transact business in Michigan in cases arising out of such business transactions. M.C.L. § 600.715. Michigan's long-arm statute has been interpreted to bestow the broadest possible grant of personal jurisdiction consistent with due process. See Audi AG & Volkswagon of Am., Inc. v. D'Amato, 341 F.Supp.2d 734, 741 (E.D. Mich. 2004). Accordingly, the Court need only determine whether exercising personal jurisdiction over Defendants violates constitutional due process. Even a single act by a defendant directed toward Michigan that gives rise to a cause of action can support a finding of minimum contacts sufficient to exercise personal jurisdiction without offending due process. See Neal v. Janssen, 270 F.3d 328, 331 (6th Cir. 2001).

         The exercise of personal jurisdiction over a defendant is proper where the defendant has had certain minimum contacts with the forum such that the exercise of jurisdiction comports with "traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice." International Shoe Co. v. State of Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1944). In determining whether a nonresident defendant has had sufficient contacts to support personal jurisdiction, three criteria apply:

First, the defendant must purposefully avail himself of the privilege of acting in the forum state or causing a consequence in the forum state. Second, the cause of action must arise from the defendant's activities there. Finally, the acts of the defendant or consequences caused by the defendant must have a substantial enough connection with the forum state to make the exercise of jurisdiction over the defendant reasonable.

Southern Machine Co. v. Mohasco Indus., Inc., 401 F.2d 374, 381 (6th Cir. 1968).

         1. Have Defendants purposefully availed themselves of the privilege of acting in Michigan or causing a consequence in Michigan?

         The Supreme Court has found purposeful availment

where the contacts with the forum state proximately result from actions by the defendant himself that create a ‘substantial connection' with the forum State. Thus, where the defendant ‘deliberately' has engaged in significant activities within a state, or has created ‘continuing obligations' between himself and residents of the forum, he manifestly has availed himself of the privilege of conducting business there, and . . . it is presumptively not unreasonable to require him to submit to the burdens of litigation in that forum as well.

Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 475-76 (1985) (emphasis in original) (citations omitted). “Neither the presence of the defendant in the state, nor the actual contract formation need take place in the forum state for the defendant to do business in that state.” Lanier v. Am. Bd. of Endodontics, 843 F.2d 901, 907 (6th Cir. 1988). “So long as a commercial actor's efforts are ‘purposefully directed' toward residents of another State, [courts] have consistently rejected the notion that an absence of physical contacts can defeat personal jurisdiction there.” Burger King Corp., 471 U.S. at 476.

         Launch USA maintains that it has conducted no business whatsoever in Michigan. It asserts that it has no employees or agents in Michigan, and that it has no office, property, or accounts in Michigan. Launch USA claims that it does not direct marketing toward Michigan, that it has no distributor or retailer in Michigan, and that it has not sold any of the allegedly infringing products to anyone in Michigan.

         According to the First Amended Complaint, Launch USA obtained and downloaded Ford's IDS software from Ford servers in Michigan by transacting business with Ford, a Michigan-based manufacturer, and then provided Ford's IDS software to Launch China in order to develop the allegedly infringing products that Launch USA sells and profits from. According to Ford, Launch USA repeatedly reached into Michigan to buy licenses from Ford for Ford's IDS software, the software that is at the heart of Ford's claims in this case.[13]Ford also alleges that Launch USA distributes products incorporating the copyrights and trade secrets extracted from Ford's IDS software through a distribution network in Michigan. The infringing products are sold at retail stores in Michigan where Ford's agents have purchased them. Additionally, Ford alleges that Launch USA is a member of ETI, an industry trade association headquartered in Michigan that collects data from Ford and other Michigan-based automotive manufacturers and provides that information to diagnostic tool manufacturers for use in developing the products at issue in this case. Ford alleges that Launch USA shared that data with Launch China in order to develop the allegedly infringing products that Launch USA sells and profits from. Ford also claims that Launch USA has a vice president of automotive diagnostics located in the Greater Detroit Area. Launch USA also entered into a written agreement with Ford to cease and desist from infringement of Ford's trademarks. Launch USA entered this agreement with a Michigan-based company and should have reasonably foreseen that any breach would have consequences in Michigan.

         Taking the above assertions as true, it is clear that Launch USA has taken actions that are intentionally directed toward Michigan, and that these actions are sufficient to constitute minimum contacts with Michigan. See CompuServe, 89 F.3d at 1264-65; Ford Motor Co. v. Autel U.S. Inc., No. 14-13760, 2015 WL 5729067, at *11 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 30, 2015); Serv. Sols. U.S., LLC v. Autel U.S. Inc., No. 13-10534, 2013 WL 5701063, at *4 (E.D. Mich. Oct. 18, 2013).

         Launch China maintains that it has no activity in Michigan. It notes that it has no relationship with customers and solicits no sales in Michigan. Launch China also asserts that it is a completely separate company from Launch USA, and that Launch China has absolutely no control over Launch USA.

         According to the First Amended Complaint, Launch China acted in concert with Launch USA to repeatedly obtain and download Ford's IDS software from Ford servers in Michigan by transacting business with Ford in Michigan. Ford alleges that Launch China accepted the terms of the EULAs governing Ford's IDS software and violated those terms by using reverse engineering to extract Ford's copyrights and trade secrets. According to Ford, Launch China directly sells diagnostic software products in Michigan that incorporate the copyrights and trade secrets extracted from Ford's IDS software, such as the Ford “vehicle line” for the Launch EasyDiag product, using Apple's iTunes Store and PayPal.[14]Ford also alleges that Launch China collects revenue from purchasers of the EasyDiag 2.0 product via PayPal for purchases of the “USA FORD” product line using the email address jiangbo.zhang@cnlaunch.com.[15] Additionally, Launch China allegedly operates and interactive website[16] where Michigan residents who purchase Launch China's products may download software that incorporates the copyrights and trade secrets extracted from Ford's IDS software.[17] Agents of Ford in Michigan have registered Defendants' products and downloaded software that is the subject of Ford's claims.[18]

         Taking the above assertions as true, it is clear that Launch China has taken actions that are intentionally directed toward Michigan, and that these actions are sufficient to constitute minimum contacts with Michigan. See CompuServe, 89 F.3d at 1264-65; Autel, 2015 WL 5729067, at *11; Serv. Sols., 2013 WL 5701063, at *4.

         In short, Defendants availed themselves of the privilege of acting in Michigan to obtain information from Ford, a manufacturer headquartered in Michigan, that Defendants then used in the development of the allegedly infringing products that compete with Ford's products and that Defendants sell in Michigan and allegedly profit handsomely from. Indeed, according to Ford, Defendants have generated millions of dollars in revenue from just one of the products at issue. Viewing the facts in the light most favorable to Ford, it is evident that Launch USA and Launch China themselves took actions that created connections with Michigan, and the Court fins that the connections are substantial enough that Launch USA and Launch China should reasonably have anticipated being haled into a Michigan court.

         2. Do Ford's claims arise from Defendants' activities in Michigan?

         In order to find the exercise of jurisdiction over Defendants proper, the Court must also find that Ford's claims against Defendants arise from Defendants' activities in Michigan. “If a defendant's contacts with the forum state are related to the operative facts of the controversy, then an action will be deemed to have arisen from those contacts.” CompuServe, 89 F.3d at 1267 (citations omitted).

         The claims in this case concern allegations of trademark and copyright infringement, false designation of origin, unfair and deceptive trade practices, trademark dilution, misappropriation of trade secrets, and breach of contract. Accepting Ford's contentions as true, Launch USA's contacts with Michigan and Launch China's contacts with Michigan are plainly related to the operative facts of this controversy. Ford claims that Launch USA and Launch China acted in concert to improperly extract proprietary data from Ford's servers in Michigan in order to develop the allegedly infringing products at issue in this case. These products were intended to be used on Ford vehicles manufactured in Michigan. Ford also alleges that Launch USA and Launch China infringed upon Ford's trademarks using them in their own promotional materials and products that are sold in Michigan, and that proceeds of those sales flowed to Launch USA and Launch China through Michigan. Viewing the facts in the light most favorable to Ford, the Court finds that Ford has satisfied the “arising from” requirement.

         3. Do the acts of Defendants or consequences caused by Defendants have a substantial enough connection with Michigan to make the exercise of jurisdiction over Defendants reasonable?

         Where the Court finds, as it has in this case, that the purposeful availment and “arising from” requirements are met, then an inference arises that the reasonableness requirement is also present. CompuServe, 89 F.3d at 1268 (citations omitted). “[W]here a defendant who purposefully has directed his activities at forum residents seeks to defeat jurisdiction, he must present a compelling case that the presence of some other considerations would render jurisdiction unreasonable.” Burger King, 471 U.S. at 477.

         The Court finds that Launch USA and Launch China have failed to demonstrate how jurisdiction in Michigan would be fundamentally unfair. Launch USA claims that litigating in Michigan would be burdensome because Launch USA is a small company that does not reside or conduct business in Michigan. Launch China claims that litigating in Michigan would be burdensome because Launch China is a Chinese company with no contacts in Michigan. Despite Defendants' assertions, viewing the facts in the light most favorable to Ford, Defendants did transact business in Michigan, as discussed above. It is not unfair to require a corporate defendant to defend against trademark and copyright infringement, false designation of origin, unfair and deceptive trade practices, trademark dilution, misappropriation of trade secrets, and breach of contract claims arising from their contacts with Michigan.

         Additionally, Michigan has a strong interest in protecting its residents from unfair competition, theft of trade secrets, and trademark and copyright violations. Ford also has a strong interest in litigating this case in Michigan. The Court concludes that the exercise of jurisdiction over Defendants is reasonable.

         Ford has presented a prima facie case that the Court has personal jurisdiction over Launch USA and Launch China. Defendants' motions to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction are denied.

         B. Venue

         Defendants next argue that the Court should dismiss this case because the Eastern District of Michigan is not a proper venue. Defendants argue that no part of the events giving rise to Ford's claims occurred in this district because Defendants have conducted no business in this district, relying on their arguments that this Court cannot exercise personal jurisdiction over Defendants. Defendants further argue that venue is improper in this district because venue in a copyright action is restricted to a defendant's state of incorporation.

         Ford responds that venue is proper under both 28 U.S.C. § 1391 and 28 U.S.C. § 1400 because Defendants are amendable to personal jurisdiction in this district, and because a substantial part of the events giving rise to Ford's claims occurred in this district.

         Rule 12(b)(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides for a motion to dismiss for improper venue. Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(3). In general, venue is proper in (1) a judicial district where any defendant resides, if all of the defendants reside in the same state; (2) a judicial district where a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of the property that is the subject of the action is situated; or (3) a judicial district where any defendant is subject to the court's personal jurisdiction with respect to the action, if there is no other district in which the action may be brought. 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b); see Bunting ex rel. Gray v. Gray, 2 Fed. App'x 443, 448 (6th Cir. 2001). Venue may be proper in more than one judicial district under Section 1391. Overland, Inc. ...


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