United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
RUBIE'S COSTUME COMPANY, INC., a New York corporation, Plaintiff,
YIWU HUA HAO TOYS CO., LTD., a Chinese company; TREND NATION, LLC, a Nevada limited liability company; and JOHN DOES 1-100, currently unknown individuals and entities, Defendants.
ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT TREND NATION'S MOTION TO
DISMISS OR ALTERNATIVELY TRANSFER VENUE FOR FORUM NON
Honorable Richard A. Jones United States District Judge.
Honorable Richard A. Jones This matter comes before the Court
on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss or Alternatively
Transfer Venue (Dkt. # 9). Having considered the submissions
of the parties, the relevant portions of the record, and the
applicable law, the Court finds that oral argument is
unnecessary. For the reasons stated below, Defendant's
Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction is
GRANTED. Dkt. # 9.
following is taken from Plaintiff's First Amended
Complaint (Dkt. # 17), which is assumed to be true for the
purposes of this motion to dismiss. Sanders v.
Brown, 504 F.3d 903, 910 (9th Cir. 2007); see also
McCarthy v. United States, 850 F.2d 558, 560 (9th Cir.
1988) (“Moreover, when considering a motion to dismiss
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(1) the district court is not
restricted to the face of the pleadings, but may review any
evidence, such as affidavits and testimony, to resolve
factual disputes concerning the existence of
Rubie's Costume Company, Inc. (“Plaintiff”)
is a New York-based costume company that designs and
manufactures costumes including a “highly-recognizable
and very popular full-body Inflatable T-Rex Costume.”
Dkt. #17 at ¶ 1. The costume was first published on July
31, 2015 and is registered with the United States Copyright
Office (VA 2-108-559). Dkt. # 17 at ¶¶ 35-36. The
costume is sold through various distribution channels
including “online platforms and traditional brick and
mortar stores” throughout the United States (and the
world). Id. at ¶ 37.
Trend Nation, LLC (“Defendant”) is a Nevada-based
corporation that, according to Plaintiff, advertises and
sells infringing T-Rex costumes that are allegedly
manufactured by Yiwu Hua Hao Toys Co., Ltd. (“Yiwu Hua
Hao”), also a defendant in this matter. Dkt. # 17 at
¶¶ 3-4. According to Plaintiff, Yiwu Hua Hao
manufacturers two versions of the Inflatable T-Rex costume,
both of which “copy original graphical and sculptural
features” from Plaintiff's costume. Id. at
¶ 43. Yiwu Hua Hao sells these allegedly infringing
costumes using an Amazon seller account, Yiwu Hua Hao Toys
Co. Ltd. (A28HXIHWFH6GG1). Id. at ¶ 45. Trend
Nation also allegedly sells the infringing T-Rex costumes on
Amazon using the account, Mindful Design (A1JSZ235HIVP4X).
Dkt. # 17 at ¶ 46.
October 18, 2018, Rubie's brought suit against Trend
Nation and Yiwu Hua Hao Toys, along with several unnamed
defendants, under the Federal Copyright Act. Dkt. # 1.
Rubie's later amended its complaint, adding thirteen
named defendants. Dkt. # 17. Trend Nation now moves to
dismiss Rubie's complaint for lack of personal
jurisdiction. Dkt. # 9. Alternatively, Trend Nation requests
that the action be transferred to the District of Nevada on
forum non conveniens grounds. Id.
case like this one, where no federal statute governs personal
jurisdiction, the court's jurisdictional analysis starts
with the “long-arm” statute of the state in which
the court sits. Glencore Grain Rotterdam B.V. v. Shivnath
Rai Harnarain Co., 284 F.3d 1114, 1123 (9th Cir. 2002).
Washington's long-arm statute (RCW § 4.28.185)
extends personal jurisdiction to the broadest reach that the
Due Process Clause of the federal Constitution permits.
Shute v. Carnival Cruise Lines, 113 Wash.2d 763, 771
(1989). Plaintiff has the burden of establishing personal
jurisdiction. Ziegler v. Indian River County, 64
F.3d 470, 473 (9th Cir. 1995). “It is well established
that where the district court relies solely on affidavits and
discovery materials, the plaintiff need only establish a
prima facie case of jurisdiction.” Rano v.
Sipa Press, Inc., 987 F.2d 580, 587 n.3 (9th Cir. 1993).
In determining whether Plaintiff has met this burden, any
“uncontroverted allegations” in Plaintiff's
complaint must be taken as true, and “conflicts between
the facts contained in the parties' affidavits must be
resolved in [Plaintiff's] favor for purposes of deciding
whether a prima facie case for personal jurisdiction
exists.” AT&T v. Compagnie Bruxelles
Lambert, 94 F.3d 586, 588 (9th Cir. 1996),
supplemented, 95 F.3d 1156 (9th Cir. 1996) (internal
are two types of personal jurisdiction: general and specific.
Bancroft & Masters, Inc. v. Augusta Nat'l
Inc., 223 F.3d 1082, 1086 (9th Cir. 2000). A defendant
with “substantial” or “continuous and
systematic” contacts with the forum state is subject to
general jurisdiction, and can be haled into court on any
action, even one unrelated to its contacts in the state.
Bancroft & Masters, 223 F.3d at 1086. A
defendant not subject to general jurisdiction may be subject
to specific jurisdiction if the suit against it arises from
its contacts with the forum state. Id. Plaintiff
does not assert that Defendant is subject to general
jurisdiction, so the Court will only consider whether the
Defendant is subject to specific jurisdiction.
Court applies a three-part test to determine whether the
exercise of specific jurisdiction over a non-resident
defendant is appropriate: (1) the defendant has either
purposefully directed his activities toward the forum or
purposely availed himself of the privileges of conducting
activities in the forum, (2) the plaintiff's claims arise
out of the defendant's forum-related activities, and (3)
the exercise of jurisdiction is reasonable. Axiom Foods,
Inc. v. Acerchem Int'l, Inc., 874 F.3d 1064, 1068
(9th Cir. 2017). Plaintiff bears the burden of satisfying the
first two prongs. Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor
Co., 374 F.3d 797, 802 (9th Cir. 2004). The burden then
shifts to defendant to make a “compelling case”
that the exercise of jurisdiction would not be reasonable.
availment and purposeful direction are “two distinct
concepts.” Schwarzenegger, 374 F.3d at 802. In
the Ninth Circuit, tort cases typically require a purposeful
direction analysis, whereas contract cases typically require
a purposeful availment analysis. Washington Shoe Co. v.
A-Z Sporting Goods, Inc.,704 F.3d 668, 672-73 (9th Cir.
2012). Here, Plaintiff is alleging copyright infringement, so
the Court will apply the purposeful direction ...