United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
FORD MOTOR COMPANY and FORD GLOBAL TECHNOLOGIES, LLC Plaintiffs,
LAUNCH TECH CO. LTD. and LAUNCH TECH (USA), INC. Defendants.
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT LAUNCH TECH CO. LTD.'S
MOTION TO DISMISS ; DENYING DEFENDANT LAUNCH TECH (USA),
INC.'S MOTION TO DISMISS ; AND MOOTING DEFENDANT
LAUNCH TECH CO. LTD.'S EMERGENCY MOTION TO STAY
G. Edmunds United States District Judge.
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
before the Court are Defendants' motions to dismiss (Dkt.
# 27; Dkt. # 33), which have been fully
briefed. 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). 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.
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.
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. 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
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. 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.
to the First Amended Complaint, “Launch
Tech” 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.
Ford alleges that a company identified as “L
aunch” has purchased at least one active version
of Ford's IDS software since November 2013. 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.
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.
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. 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.
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.
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. 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.
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. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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)).
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.
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).
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
Southern Machine Co. v. Mohasco Indus., Inc., 401
F.2d 374, 381 (6th Cir. 1968).
Have Defendants purposefully availed themselves of the
privilege of acting in Michigan or causing a consequence in
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.
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.
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.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.
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).
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.
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.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
email@example.com. Additionally, Launch
China allegedly operates and interactive
website 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. Agents of Ford in Michigan have
registered Defendants' products and downloaded software
that is the subject of Ford's claims.
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.
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.
Do Ford's claims arise from Defendants' activities 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
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”
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
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.
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 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
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.
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.
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.
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. ...