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Tough Guy Limited v. Tough Mudder LLC

December 3, 2010

TOUGH GUY LIMITED, PLAINTIFF,
v.
TOUGH MUDDER LLC, WILL DEAN, AND GUY LIVINGSTONE, DEFENDANTS.



1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

ORDER TRANSFERRING VENUE TO THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK

This matter comes before the Court on its sua sponte decision to transfer venue from the Eastern District of California to the Eastern District of New York.

I. FACTUAL AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In June 2008, Defendant Will Dean ("Dean"), a student at Harvard Business School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, contacted William Wilson ("Wilson"), founder of Tough Guy Limited ("Plaintiff"), located in England, and told him that he was conducting a field study for course credit regarding various races conducted around the world. Dean intended to analyze the feasibility and logistics of establishing Tough Guy in the 2

United States. Wilson agreed to assist Dean and to provide 3 information about his business if such information was not 4 disclosed to parties unrelated to the Harvard field study or 5 utilized for any commercial purpose. 6

On October 2, 2008 Dean traveled to the United Kingdom to 7 meet Wilson in person. Wilson presented Dean with a written 8 confidentiality agreement, which Dean signed. The agreement 9 stated that Dean "would not use for any commercial end whatsoever, or disclose to any person connected with Dean's Harvard field study, the information regarding Tough Guy." Complaint ¶ 15.

Plaintiff alleges that Wilson provided Dean with information about his business such as competitor demographics; financial breakdowns of income and expenditure; history of expressed media interest and actual media exposure; web and media statistics; and site layout and costs.

In or about January 2009, Dean presented Plaintiff with a copy of a Harvard Business School field study report entitled "Tough Guy -- Evaluating the US/International Opportunity." The Complaint alleges that following the completion of the report, Dean ceased communications with Plaintiff.

In February 2009, Dean, with his business partner Guy Livingstone ("Livingstone"), allegedly began marketing, promoting, and advertising a series of races called "Tough Mudder" via a retail website and popular social networking sites. Tough Mudder is a Delaware limited liability company having its principal place of business at 228 Park Avenue South, New York, New York. The Court is informed that both Dean and 2

Livingstone reside in the Eastern District of New York. 3

Plaintiff alleges that Defendants' Tough Mudder race is an 4 attempt to replicate Tough Guy. The Complaint avers that based 5 on the information disclosed by Plaintiff, Defendants designed, 6 developed, advertised, marketed, promoted, and implemented the 7

Tough Mudder race. 8

Tough Mudder has already held races in Pennsylvania, 9

Northern California, and New Jersey. Its website advertises future races in Texas, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Southern California, Colorado, Wisconsin, Virginia, ...


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