United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
ORDER DENYING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Quantum Market
Research, Inc's (“Quantum”) motion to dismiss
for lack of personal jurisdiction. Dkt. 8. The Court has
considered the pleadings filed in support of and in
opposition to the motion and the remainder of the file and
hereby denies the motion for the reasons stated herein.
PROCEDURAL AND FACTUAL HISTORY
DiscoverOrg Data, LLC (“DiscoverOrg”) provides
sales and marketing information for business to business
sales. Dkt. 1. DiscoverOrg's claims stem from its
allegation that Quantum “stole access to DiscoverOrg
information (about 9, 300 records) and used them for its own
sales and marketing, without paying DiscoverOrg any licensing
fees.” Id. DiscoverOrg is a limited liability
company with its principal place of business in Vancouver,
Washington, and Quantum is a Delaware corporation with its
principal place of business in Nebraska. Id.
to the instant motion, DiscoverOrg's Corporate Counsel
James Henry (“Henry”) declares that starting in
July 2017, “Quantum personnel were engaged in sales
discussions with DiscoverOrg personnel.” Dkt. 11 at 4
(citing Dkt. 12, ¶ 4.). These conversations occurred by
phone and email and continued through at least November 2017.
Id. (citing Dkt. 12, ¶ 4-5). Henry further
declares that DiscoverOrg sales personnel frequently disclose
DiscoverOrg's Vancouver, Washington location on sales
calls, and that DiscoverOrg emails sent to Quantum included
phone numbers with Washington area codes. Id.
(citing Dkt. 12, ¶¶ 6-7). From October 27, 2017 to
November 4, 2017, Quantum used DiscoverOrg's database
with permission through “a one-week trial with access
of two user seats.” Id. at 4-5 (citing Dkt.
12, ¶ 8). Quantum did not
purchase a license to access DiscoverOrg's database after
the trial license expired. Id. at 5 (citing Dkt. 12,
DiscoverOrg Compliance Analyst Jie Smith
(“Smith”) declares that three IP addresses linked
to Quantum accessed DiscoverOrg's database without
authorization in November 2017. Id. (citing Dkt. 13,
¶¶ 5-6). Smith declares that Quantum ran searches,
viewed proprietary information, downloaded over 9, 300
records, and used these records to sell its products.
Id. (citing Dkt. 13, ¶¶ 6-7). Whenever
Quantum accessed DiscoverOrg's login page, it “was
presented with a link to DiscoverOrg's End User License
Agreement.” Id. (citing Dkt. 13, ¶ 8).
DiscoverOrg's Director of Customer Support Will Hinrichs
declares that the only way Quantum could have accessed the
allegedly stolen records was by using the login credentials
of a DiscoverOrg licensee, and that “DiscoverOrg's
website also contains multiple notifications that DiscoverOrg
is based in Washington.” Id. (citing Dkt. 15,
18, 2019, DiscoverOrg filed a complaint asserting claims for
theft of trade secrets, misappropriation of trade secrets,
misappropriation, copyright infringement, violation of the
federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, trespass to chattels,
unjust enrichment, intentional interference with contract,
and negligence. Dkt. 1. On August 22, 2019, Quantum filed the
instant motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.
Dkt. 8. On September 9, 2019, DisocverOrg responded. Dkt. 11.
On September 13, 2019, Quantum replied. Dkt. 16. On September
16, 2019, DiscoverOrg filed notice of intent to surreply.
Dkt. 17. On September 18, 2019 DiscoverOrg surreplied. Dkt.
Standard on a Motion to Dismiss Under Fed.R.Civ.P.
determine whether it has jurisdiction over a defendant, a
federal court applies the law of the state in which it sits,
as long as that law is consistent with federal due process.
Daimler AG v. Bauman, 571 U.S. 117, 126 (2014).
Washington allows the maximum jurisdictional reach permitted
by due process. Easter v. Am. W. Fin., 381 F.3d 948,
960 (9th Cir. 2004). Due process is satisfied when subjecting
the entity to the court's power does not “offend
‘traditional notions of fair play and substantial
justice.'” Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia,
S.A. v. Hall, 466 U.S. 408, 414 (1984) (quoting
Int'l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316
(1945)). “[T]raditional notions of fair play and
substantial justice” require that a defendant have
minimum contacts with the forum state before it may be haled
into a court in that forum. Int'l Shoe, 326 U.S.
at 316 (1945). The extent of those contacts can result in
either general or specific personal jurisdiction over the
defendant. Goodyear Dunlop Tires Operations, S.A. v.
Brown, 564 U.S. 915, 919 (2011).
the plaintiff cannot simply rest on the bare allegations of
its complaint, uncontroverted allegations in the complaint
must be taken as true.” Schwarzenegger v. Fred
Martin Motor Co., 374 F.3d 797, 800 (9th Cir. 2004)
(internal quotation marks and citations omitted).
“Additionally, any evidentiary materials submitted on
the motion are construed in the light most favorable to the
plaintiffs and all doubts are resolved in their favor.”
See Ochoa v. J.B. Martin & Sons Farms, Inc., 287
F.3d 1182, 1187 (9th Cir. 2002).
jurisdiction permits a district court to exercise
jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant for conduct that
“create[s] a substantial connection with the forum
State.” Walden v. Fiore, 571 U.S. 277, 284
(2014). A defendant creates a substantial connection in a
tort-based action when it purposefully directs its activities
at the forum state, the lawsuit arises out of or relates to
the defendant's forum-related activities, and the
exercise of jurisdiction is reasonable. Picot v.
Weston, 780 F.3d 1206, 1211 (9th Cir. 2015)
(“Picot”). Purposeful direction
constitutes (1) an intentional action, (2) expressly aimed at
the forum state, which (3) cause harm “the brunt of
which is suffered-and which the defendant knows is likely to
be suffered-in the forum state.” Core-Vent Corp. v.
Nobel Industries AB, 11 F.3d 1482, 1485-86 (9th Cir.
1993) (citing Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783, 788-89
(1984)). In applying this test, the Court must “look
to the defendant's contacts with the forum State itself,
not the defendant's contacts with persons who reside
there.” Walden v. Fiore, 571 U.S. 277, 285
(2014). “[A]n injury is jurisdictionally relevant only
insofar as it shows that the defendant has formed a contact
with the forum state.” Id. at 290. However,
the Supreme Court also explained in a footnote that
Walden “does not present the very different
questions whether and how a defendant's virtual
‘presence' and conduct translates into
‘contacts' with a particular State.”
Id. at 290 n.9. In applying Walden, the
Ninth Circuit found in Picot that contact between
non-forum residents outside the forum which interfered with
the plaintiff's contract and ability to access
out-of-forum funds was not meaningfully tethered to the forum
and created an injury that would “follow [the
plaintiff] wherever he might choose to live or travel.”
Picot, 780 F.3d at 1215.
plaintiff establishes the first two factors, the defendant
“must present a compelling case that the presence of
some other considerations would render jurisdiction
unreasonable' in order to defeat personal
jurisdiction.” Harris Rutsky & Co. Ins. Servs.
Inc. v. Bell & Clements Ltd., 328 F.3d 1122, 1132
(9th Cir. 2003) (quoting Burger King v. Rudzewicz,
471 U.S. 462, 477 (1985)). These considerations include the
extent of the defendant's purposeful interjection into
the forum, the burden on the defendant, conflict of
sovereignty with the defendant's state, the forum
state's interest, judicial efficiency, the importance of
the forum to the plaintiff's interest in convenient and
effective relief, and the possibility of alternate forums.
Id. (citing Core-Vent, 11 F.3d at 1487-88).
parties agree that DiscoverOrg seeks to establish specific
personal jurisdiction over Quantum and alleges ...