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Richmond Technologies, Inc., A v. Aumtech Business Solutions


July 1, 2011


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Lucy H. Koh United States District Judge


This case is before the Court for determination of the following four motions: (1) Plaintiff's motion for substituted service pursuant to Rule 4(f)(3); (2) a motion to dismiss for lack of personal 21 jurisdiction, defective summons, and defective service brought by Defendants Aumtech i-Solutions Pvt. Ltd., Shankar Bose, and Ila Bose; (3) a motion to dismiss for improper venue brought by Defendants Aumtech Business Solutions, Jennifer Polito, and Damian Joseph Polito; and (4) Plaintiff's renewed motion for a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction. The Court 25 heard oral argument on June 23, 2011. For the reasons discussed below, the Court GRANTS

Plaintiff's motion for substituted service, DENIES Defendants' motions to dismiss, and GRANTS in part and DENIES in part Plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining order. The Court will 2 hold a preliminary injunction hearing on August 1, 2011.

enterprise resource planning ("ERP") software for financial service companies who provide credit card terminals to merchants. Compl. ¶ 1. ePayware originally existed as a corporation 8 headquartered in San Jose, California. Compl. ¶ 23. However, on October 12, 2009, Plaintiff


A.The Parties

Plaintiff Richmond Technologies, doing business as ePayware, is a company that provides Richmond Technologies, Inc. acquired the assets of ePayware. Compl. ¶ 25. Plaintiff contends that 10 pursuant to this acquisition, it became the successor in interest to ePayware's contracts and began 11 doing business as ePayware. Id.

Plaintiff Richmond Technologies is a Georgia corporation, with its principal place of business in Alpharetta, Georgia. Compl. ¶ 13. under the laws of India, with its principal place of business in New Delhi, India. Compl. ¶ 14. India. Id. Shankar Bose is Aumtech India's Chief Executive Officer, and Ila Bose is Aumtech India. Compl. ¶¶ 15-16. company located in Ventura, California. Compl. ¶ 13. Plaintiff describes Aumtech America as "an 21 unincorporated association consisting of Damien Joseph Polito, Jennifer Polito, and the principals 22 of Aumtech i-Solutions Pvt. Ltd (Shankar Bose and Ila Bose)." Compl. ¶ 13. However, Defendants 23 claim that Aumtech America is a newly formed limited liability company, of which Jennifer Polito 24 is the President and Aumtech India is a member. See Decl. of Jennifer Polito ISO Mot. to Dismiss 25 for Improper Venue ("Jennifer Polito Venue Decl.") ¶¶ 4-5, ECF No. 43; Decl. of Shankar Bose 26

Partner and Business Head of Aumtech America, and Ila Bose is Aumtech America's Chief Defendant Aumtech i-Solutions Pvt. Ltd. ("Aumtech India") is a corporation organized Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Shankar and Ila Bose, a married couple, own and manage Aumtech India's Chief Technology Officer. Id. Both Shankar and Ila Bose are Indian nationals residing in Defendant Aumtech Business Solutions ("Aumtech America") is a recently formed ISO Opp'n to Mot. for TRO ("Shankar Bose TRO Decl.") ¶ 4, ECF No. 52. Shankar Bose is Technology Officer. Compl. ¶¶ 15-16. Aumtech America's fictitious business name statement, 2 filed with the Ventura County Recorder, lists Defendant Damian Joseph Polito as owner. Compl. 3

¶ 13. Nonetheless, Damian Polito claims that he works as a prop maker for film production 4 companies and does not hold a position with, or perform work on behalf of, Aumtech America.

Decl.") ¶¶ 4-5. Damian and Jennifer Polito are married and reside in Ventura, California.

Decl. of Damian Joseph Polito ISO Mot. to Dismiss for Improper Venue ("Joseph Polito Venue

B.Contractual Relationships between the Parties

On January 31, 2007, when it was still based in San Jose, ePayware entered into a Memorandum of Understanding ("MoU") with Aumtech India. Compl. ¶ 23; Decl. of Sandeep Menon in Supp. of Pl's Mot. for TRO ("Menon Decl.") ¶ 4 & Ex. A. The MoU created a "Teaming Agreement" pursuant to which Aumtech India developed enterprise resource planning software for 12 ePayware and maintained the enterprise resource planning modules of ePayware's customers.

Compl. ¶ 23; Menon Decl. ¶ 5 & Ex. A at 2-3. Under the terms of the MoU, ePayware agreed to 14 pay Aumtech India a fee of $4,000 per month, to be reassessed after six months, for leasing out the services of Shankar Bose. Menon Decl. Ex. A at 6. The MoU also required Aumtech India to 16 provide weekly progress reports and monthly performance and expense reports to ePayware. Id.

The terms of the MoU limit its scope to a "specific period of twenty-four months," which could be 18 extended if both parties agreed in writing. Id. at 2. described as a Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement ("Non-Disclosure Agreement" or "NDA"). Menon Decl. ¶ 4 & Ex. B. The Non-Disclosure Agreement contains various provisions 22 that prohibit Aumtech India from disclosing or using confidential information, soliciting 23 ePayware's employees or consultants for one year following Aumtech India's term of employment, 24 or entering into any agreement with ePayware's customers or clients for one year following the term 25 of employment. Menon Decl. Ex. B at 2-3. The Non-Disclosure Agreement also contains a 26 provision by which Aumtech India agreed not to compete with ePayware "with similar product and

On September 15, 2009, ePayware and Aumtech India entered into a second contract or Service using its technology" for a period of one year following Aumtech India's term of 2 employment with ePayware. Id. at 3.

the Complaint, Jennifer Polito joined ePayware as a customer support and help desk executive on Confidentiality and Non-Disclosure Agreement that contained many of the same material terms as 7 the Non-Disclosure Agreement signed by Aumtech India.*fn1 Compl. ¶ 29. Jennifer Polito terminated 8 her employment with ePayware on March 18, 2011. Compl. ¶ 30.

Polito to market Aumtech India's software development and maintenance services directly to 13 ePayware's clients. Compl. ¶ 4. Plaintiff claims that the individual Defendants created Aumtech Compl. ¶¶ 4-5. As part of the preparations, Plaintiff alleges that Aumtech India employees ceased 16 using their ePayware email addresses to correspond with ePayware's customers and instead began 17 using their Aumtech email accounts. Compl. ¶ 6. Plaintiff also contends that Jennifer Polito used 18 three different programs to delete data from the hard drive of her ePayware-issued computer before 19 returning the computer to Plaintiff. Compl. ¶ 30. After Jennifer Polito resigned from ePayware on 20

Compl. ¶ 5. Thereafter, Aumtech America has allegedly offered the same services offered by 22 ePayware and encouraged ePayware's clients to terminate their contracts and sign up with Aumtech 23

FirstPay Solutions, LLC and encouraged FirstPay to switch to Aumtech America. Compl. ¶ 32. 25 26

ePayware also had a contractual agreement with Defendant Jennifer Polito. According to

January 17, 2007. Compl. ¶ 28. Plaintiff claims that on January 17, 2007, Ms. Polito signed a 6

C.Plaintiff's Allegations

In its Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that, beginning sometime in 2010, Defendant Aumtech

India "hatched a plan" with former ePayware employee Jennifer Polito and her husband Damian America in April 2010 and prepared to launch this competing venture over the following year.

March 18, 2011, Plaintiff alleges that she immediately joined Aumtech America as its President.

America. CompL. ¶ 7. Specifically, Plaintiff claims that Jennifer Polito contacted ePayware client

Aumtech America also marketed its services at a trade show in San Diego on May 10-12, 2011.

Compl. ¶ 8. 3

4 development and maintenance agreement with Aumtech India. Menon Decl. ¶ 7. Plaintiff then 5 demanded that Aumtech India release its software source code to Plaintiff so that Plaintiff could 6 transition its software support and development to another vendor. Compl. ¶ 36. Plaintiff claims 7 that it has paid for the software development and maintenance provided by Aumtech India and that 8 it needs the source code in order to fulfill its obligations to its customers. Compl. ¶ 37; Menon 9

On May 16, 2011, after learning of the alleged activities, Plaintiff terminated its software

Decl. ¶ 11. According to Plaintiff, Aumtech India has refused to release the source code unless 10 ePayware first provides a payment of $20,000. Compl. ¶ 36; Menon Decl. ¶ 9.

On May 20, 2011, Plaintiff filed the instant action in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The Complaint asserts seven claims for relief: (1) breach of written 13 contract against Aumtech India; (2) breach of written contract against Jennifer Polito; (3) violations 14 of the California Unfair Competition Law, Cal. Bus. & Profs. Code § 17200; (4) intentional 15 interference with contract; (5) negligent interference with contract; (6) declaratory relief against 16

Jennifer Polito and Aumtech India; and (7) unjust enrichment. On May 23, 2011, Plaintiff filed an 17 ex parte motion for a temporary restraining order that would (1) compel Defendant Aumtech India 18 and its principals to release the source code to ePayware, and (2) enjoin Defendants from competing 19 with ePayware in violation of the Non-Disclosure Agreement. The Court denied Plaintiff's motion 20 without prejudice on grounds that Plaintiff had not satisfied the requirements of Federal Rule 65(b) 21 for issuance of a TRO without notice to the adverse party. See Order Denying Ex Parte Motion for 22 TRO Without Prejudice, ECF No. 17. Plaintiff has now provided notice to all parties, and on June 3, 2011, Plaintiff renewed its motion for a TRO and preliminary injunction. Also on June 3, 2011, Defendants moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue, and Plaintiff 25 moved for an order permitting it to serve the India-based defendants by substituted service on their Los Angeles-based counsel. The Court held a hearing on all four motions on June 23, 2011, and 27 will now consider each in turn.

II.Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

A.Legal Standard

Defendants Aumtech India, Shankar Bose, and Ila Bose (collectively, the "Indian Defendants") move to dismiss pursuant to Rule 12(b)(2) on grounds that the Court lacks personal 5 jurisdiction over each of them.*fn2 When a defendant moves to dismiss for lack of personal 6 jurisdiction, "the plaintiff bears the burden of demonstrating that jurisdiction is appropriate." 7

Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor Co., 374 F.3d 797, 800 (9th Cir. 2004). Because this Court 8 has not conducted an evidentiary hearing, Plaintiff "need only make a prima facie showing of 9 jurisdictional facts." Sher v. Johnson, 911 F.2d 1357, 1361 (9th Cir. 1990). At this stage of the 10 proceeding, uncontroverted facts contained in the Complaint are taken as true, and "[c]onflicts between parties over statements contained in affidavits must be resolved in the plaintiff's favor."

Schwarzenegger, 374 F.3d at 800. 13

Where, as here, there is no federal statute that governs personal jurisdiction, the Court must apply the law of the state in which it sits. Schwarzenegger, 374 F.3d at 800. In this case, "[b]ecause California's long-arm jurisdictional statute is coextensive with federal due process 16 requirements, the jurisdictional analyses under state law and federal due process are the same." Id. 17 at 800-01. That is, for this Court to exercise personal jurisdiction over the Indian Defendants, each Defendant "must have at least 'minimum contacts' with the relevant forum such that the exercise of 19 jurisdiction 'does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.'" Id. at 801

exercise either general or specific jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant. General jurisdiction 2 exists where a defendant has "continuous and systematic" contacts with the forum state such that 3 the defendant may be "haled into court in the forum state to answer for any of its activities 4 anywhere in the world." Schwarzenegger, 374 F.3d at 801. Specific jurisdiction is more limited in 5 scope and can be exercised where the defendant has sufficient minimum contacts with the forum 6 state, and the plaintiff's claims arise out of those contacts. Id. at 801-02.


In this case, Plaintiff does not allege that the Court has general personal jurisdiction over the Indian Defendants. Accordingly, the Court need determine only whether it can exercise specific 10 personal jurisdiction over these Defendants. The Ninth Circuit has developed a three-prong test for

analyzing claims of specific personal jurisdiction:

(1) The non-resident defendant must purposefully direct his activities or consummate some transaction with the forum or resident thereof; or perform

some act by which he purposefully avails himself of the privilege of conducting activities in the forum, thereby invoking the benefits and protections of its laws;

(2) the claim must be one which arises out of or relates to the defendant's forum-related activities; and

(3) the exercise of jurisdiction must comport with fair play and substantial justice, i.e. it must be reasonable.

Schwarzenegger, 374 F.3d at 802. The plaintiff bears the burden of establishing the first two prongs 18 of the test. Id. "If the plaintiff succeeds in satisfying both of the first two prongs, the burden then 19 shifts to the defendant to 'present a compelling case' that the exercise of jurisdiction would not be 20 reasonable." Id. (quoting Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 476-78 (1985)).

jurisdiction solely as a result of random, fortuitous, or attenuated contacts, or of the unilateral 24 activity of another party or a third person." Yahoo! Inc. v. La Ligue Contre Le Racisme Et Typically, a "purposeful availment" analysis is used in cases sounding in contract, while a

1.Purposeful Availment

The first prong of the Ninth Circuit's test "ensures that a defendant will not be haled into a L'Antisemitisme, 379 F.3d 1120, 1124 (9th Cir. 2004) (quoting Burger King, 471 U.S. at 475).

"purposeful direction" analysis is more often used in cases sounding in tort. Schwarzenegger, 374 F.3d at 802. Here, although some of Plaintiff's claims sound in tort, they all arise out of the 2

Defendants' contractual relationship with ePayware. Accordingly, the Court will apply a 3 purposeful availment analysis in evaluating Defendants' contacts with California. See Sher,

F.2d at 1362 (applying purposeful availment analysis where some of plaintiff's claims sounded in 5 tort, but all arose out of a contractual relationship

8 conducting activities in California by entering into a continuing contractual relationship with 9 ePayware, which was based in San Jose, California. The Court agrees that Aumtech India's 10 business relationship with ePayware establishes sufficient minimum contacts for the exercise of U.S. at 478 ("If the question is whether an individual's contract with an out-of-state party alone can 14 automatically establish sufficient minimum contacts in the other party's home forum, we believe the 15 answer clearly is that it cannot."). However, it is also true that jurisdiction "may not be avoided 16 merely because the defendant did not physically enter the forum State." Id. at 476. Rather, the 17

Court must take a "highly realistic approach" and evaluate factors such as "prior negotiations and 18 contemplated future consequences, along with the terms of the contract and the parties' actual 19 course of dealing" to determine whether the Aumtech India has sufficient contacts with California 20 to support the exercise of specific personal jurisdiction. Id. at 479. 21

contemplated ongoing obligations to ePayware, its employees, and its customers in California.

Although Aumtech India performed its obligations from its offices in New Delhi, India, the MoU 24 required weekly and monthly reports to ePayware in California. Menon Decl. Ex. A at 6. The 25

Defendants have acknowledged that at least some of ePayware's clients are based in California. See 27

a.Aumtech India's Contacts

Plaintiff argues that Defendant Aumtech India purposefully availed itself of the privilege of specific personal jurisdiction. Defendants are correct, of course, that a contract alone does not automatically establish minimum contacts supporting personal jurisdiction. See Burger King, 471 13

In this case, Aumtech India entered into a business relationship with ePayware that

MoU also required Aumtech India to provide tech support its U.S.-based clients, id. at 5, and 26

Jennifer Polito Venue Decl. ¶ 11 (stating that ePayware had clients "in Southern California, including Intuit, International Processing Solutions, Cardready and APPS"). Moreover, it appears 2 that even after ePayware was acquired by Richmond Technologies, which is based in Georgia, 3

Aumtech India continued to work closely with California-based ePayware employee Jennifer Polito 4 to identify client needs and customize software accordingly. See Compl. ¶ 28 (noting that after the 5

2009 acquisition, Jennifer Polito "interfaced with clients to gather their business and technical 6 requirements and worked with Aumtech India to customize the software to fulfill these 7 requirements"). 8

9 choice-of-law clause providing that the agreement "is governed exclusively by and construed in 10 accordance with the law of the State of California." Menon Decl. Ex. A at 3, ¶ 11. While such a 11 choice-of-law provision, standing alone, is not sufficient to conf

12 support to Plaintiff's contention that Aumtech India deliberately affiliated itself with California and 13 that the possibility of litigation in California should have been reasonably foreseeable. See Burger 14

King, 471 U.S. at 482 (finding that a choice-of-law provision, when combined with a long-standing 15 relationship with the forum state, "reinforced [the defendant's] deliberate affiliation with the forum 16

Aumtech India is alleged to have breached provisions of these contracts by joining with California 18 resident Jennifer Polito to form a company organized under California laws. Based on these facts, 19 the Court finds that Aumtech India purposefully availed itself of the privilege of conducting 20 activities in California and created "continuing obligations" to California residents sufficient to 21 establish the minimum contacts required for personal jurisdiction. See Burger King, 471 U.S. at 22

475-76 ("where the defendant . . . has created 'continuing obligations' between himself and 23 residents of the forum, he manifestly has availed himself of the privilege of conducting business 24 there") (citation omitted).

is not subject to personal jurisdiction based on acts undertaken in his or her corporate capacity.

Additionally, the Non-Disclosure Agreement signed by Aumtech India in 2009 includes a er jurisdiction, it lends further

State and the reasonable foreseeability of possible litigation there"). Finally, it is significant that 17

b.Shankar and Ila Bose's Contacts

As to Defendants Shankar and Ila Bose, Defendants are correct that generally an individual Club Car, Inc. v. Club Car (Quebec) Import, Inc.,362 F.3d 775, 784 (11th Cir. 2004), abrogated on 2 other grounds as recognized by Diamond Crystal Brands, Inc. v. Food Movers Intern., Inc.,593 3

520 (9th Cir. 1989) ("a person's mere association with a corporation that causes injury in the forum 5 state is not sufficient in itself to permit that forum to assert jurisdiction over the person"). 6

Defendants do not dispute that Shanka and Ila are the principals of Aumtech India. However, the 7 corporation has approximately 10 employees, Compl. ¶ 14, and Plaintiff has not argued that 8

Shankar. See Flynt Distributing Co., Inc. v. Harvey,734 F.2d 1389, 1393-94 (9th Cir. 1984)

Aumtech India, Ila and Shankar cannot be subject to personal jurisdiction based solely upon

(finding personal jurisdiction over corporation's president because his contacts "went beyond his 16 visits to the state as CCQ president" and because he stood to gain personally from an agreement he 17 induced by personally guaranteeing the corporation's debts). 18

On the other hand, where individual defendants are "primary participants in an alleged

19 wrongdoing," their status as employees of a corporation "does not somehow insulate them from 20 jurisdiction." Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783, 790 (1984); see also Wolf Designs, Inc. v. DHR Co., 21

322 F. Supp. 2d 1065, 1072 (C.D. Cal. 2004) (stating that the corporate form may be ignored for 22 purposes of personal jurisdiction "by virtue of the individual's control of, and direct participation in 23 the alleged activities"). Here, Plaintiff has alleged that Shankar and Ila Bose were primary 24 participants in orchestrating the alleged breach and interference with Aumtech India's contracts. 25

California in order to form a new business relationship with California resident Jennifer Polito and 27 to organize a new company under California law. It is clear that Shankar and Ila hold "core

F.3d 1249, 1258 & n.7 (11th Cir. 2010); see also Davis v. Metro Productions, Inc., 885 F.2d 515, 4

Aumtech India has no separate existence such that it might be treated as the alter ego of Ila and 9

(indicating that where a corporation is the alter ego of its owners, jurisdiction over the corporation

supports jurisdiction over the owners). Thus, the Court agrees with Defendants that, absent facts suggesting that Ila and Shankar's contacts with ePayware went beyond their contacts as officers of 13

Aumtech India's contractual relationship with ePayware. See Club Car,362 F.3d at 784-85 15

More importantly, Plaintiff has alleged that Shankar and Ila Bose affirmatively reached out to management" positions in Aumtech America as Partner/Business Head and Chief Technology 2

Officer, respectively. See Decl. of Shirish Gupta ISO Mot. for TRO ¶ 4 & Ex. L. Defendants have 3 not denied that Shankar and Ila were primary participants in creating Aumtech America. Thus, by 4 taking the lead role in forming a business relationship with a California resident and forming a 5 business entity organized under California law, Shankar and Ila Bose have purposefully availed 6 themselves of the privilege of conducting activities in California and invoked the benefits and 7 protections of its laws. Based on these facts, Plaintiff has made a prima facie showing sufficient to 8 satisfy the first prong of the Ninth Circuit's test for specific personal jurisdiction.

2.Arising Out of Forum-Related Activities

As to the second prong of the test, the Court finds that Plaintiff's claims arise out of and activities. In determining whether a plaintiff's relate to the Indian Defendants' California-related 12 claims arise out of the defendant's forum-related activities, the Ninth Circuit applies a "but-for" 13 test. Menken v. Emm, 503 F.3d 1050, 1058 (9th Cir. 2007). That is, but for the Indian Defendants' 14 contacts with California, would Plaintiff's claims against Aumtech India have arisen? See Mattel, 15

Plaintiff's claims allege either breach of contract or tortious interference with contract. These 17 claims are based on the contractual relationships described above and could not have arisen but for 18

America. Had Aumtech India not entered into contracts with then California-based ePayware, the 20 basis for Plaintiff's claims simply would not exist. Likewise, had Ila and Shankar Bose not availed 21 themselves of California law in order to form a company with California resident Jennifer Polito, 22

Plaintiff would have no claims against them. Thus, Plaintiff has shown that its claims arise out of 23 the Indian Defendants' contacts with California.

personal jurisdiction, the burden shifts to Aumtech India to present a compelling case that the 27 exercise of personal jurisdiction would be unreasonable. Schwarzenegger, 374 F.3d at 802. In 28Inc. v. Greiner and Hausser GmbH, 354 F.3d 857, 864 (9th Cir. 2003). In this case, the majority of Aumtech India's contacts with California residents ePayware, Jennifer Polito, and Aumtech


Because Plaintiff has satisfied the first two prongs of the Ninth Circuit's test for specific evaluating the reasonableness of exercising jurisdiction, courts consider factors such as "the extent 2 of defendant's purposeful interjection into the forum state; the burden on the defendant; the 3 plaintiff's interest in convenient and effective relief; the most efficient forum for judicial resolution 4 of the dispute; the forum state's interest in adjudicating the dispute; and the extent of the conflict 5 with the sovereignty of the defendant's state." Sher, 911 F.2d at 1364. 6

7 their contacts with California are not sufficient to justify the "unreasonable burden" of requiring 8 them to litigate 8,000 miles away from their place of residence. Reply ISO of Mot. to Dismiss for 9

In arguing that the exercise of jurisdiction would be unreasonable, Defendants state only that

Lack of Personal Jurisdiction at 1. However, the Ninth Circuit has recognized that "modern 10 advances in communications and transportation have significantly reduced the burden of litigating 11 in another country."

12 in order to satisfy their burden to present a "compelling case" against jurisdiction, Defendants must 13 do more than simply claim, without elaboration, that litigation in a distant country presents an 14 unreasonable burden.*fn3 Defendants have not alleged that litigation in California would present a 15 serious financial or physical hardship, nor have they suggested that India or some other state has a 16 greater interest in the litigation or would provide a more efficient forum for resolving the dispute. 17

Plaintiff's claimed interest in avoiding immediate and irreparable harm, the factors in the 19 reasonableness analysis appear to favor the exercise of jurisdiction in this case. Thus, the Court 20 finds that Defendants have not satisfied their burden to "to 'present a compelling case' that the 21 exercise of jurisdiction would not be reasonable." Schwarzenegger, 374 F.3d at 802. 22

Sinatra v. National Enquirer, Inc., 854 F.2d 1191, 1199 (9th Cir. 1988). Thus, Given the degree of purposeful interjection involved in starting a company in California, and Based on the foregoing analysis, Plaintiff has made a prima facie showing that the Indian Defendants are subject to personal jurisdiction in this Court. As the Indian Defendants have failed 3 to show that the exercise of personal jurisdiction would be unreasonable, the motion to dismiss for 4 lack of personal jurisdiction is DENIED.

8 complaint for improper venue. Once the defendant has challenged the propriety of venue in a given 9 court, the plaintiff bears the burden of showing that venue is proper. Piedmont Label Co. v. Sun 10 pursuant to Rule 12(b)(3), a court need not accept the pleadings as true and may consider facts outside of the pleadings. Murphy v. Schneider National, Inc., 362 F.3d 1133, 1138 (9th Cir. 2004).

Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a), if the court determines that venue is improper, the court must 14 either dismiss the action or, if it is in the interests of justice, transfer the case to a district or division 15 in which it could have been brought. Whether to dismiss for improper venue, or alternatively to 16 transfer venue to a proper court, is a matter within the sound discretion of the district court. See 17

King v. Russell, 963 F.2d 1301, 1304 (9th Cir. 1992).18

District of California, for improper venue.*fn4 Because subject matter jurisdiction in this case is based 22 on diversity of citizenship, venue is governed by 28 U.S.C. § 1391(a). Under § 1391(a), a civil 23 action may be brought: 24

III. Motion to Dismiss for Improper Venue

A.Legal Standard

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3), a defendant may move to dismiss a

Garden Packing Co., 598 F.2d 491, 496 (9th Cir. 1979). When considering a motion to dismiss


Defendants Jennifer Polito, Damian Polito, and Aumtech America (collectively, the

"American Defendants") have moved to dismiss, or in the alternative to transfer to the Central 21

only in (1) a judicial district where any defendant resides, if all defendants reside in the same State, (2) a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or

omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, or a substantial part of property that is the subject of the action is situated, or (3) a judicial district in which any

defendant is subject to personal jurisdiction at the time the action is commenced, if there is no district in which the action may otherwise be brought.

In addition, § 1391(d) provides that "[a]n alien may be sued in any district." This provision reflects 6 the "long-established rule" that suits against "aliens," or persons not residing in the United States,

"are wholly outside the operation of all the federal venue laws." Brunette Mach. Works, Limited v. 8

Kockum Industries, Inc., 406 U.S. 706, 714 (1972). Accordingly, the residence of foreign 9 defendants, including the Indian Defendants in this case, is typically disregarded for purposes of 10 determining venue. See 14D Wright and Miller, Fed. Prac. & Proc. § 3810 (3d ed. 2011) ("If an

alien is joined as a defendant with one or more non-alien defendants, then venue is proper in any

district in which the suit could have been brought against the non-alien defendants alone."); see also 13

Samra v. Johal, Nos. CIV. S-08-2587 LKK/GGH, CIV. S-08-2589 LKK/GGH, 2009 WL 306634, 14 at *2 (E.D. Cal. Feb. 5, 2009); International Flavors & Fragrances Inc. v. Van Eeghen Intern. B.V., 15

No. 06 Civ. 490(JFK), 2006 WL 1876671, at *6 (S.D.N.Y. July 6, 2006); In re Triton Ltd. 16

Because Defendants Damian Polito, Jennifer Polito, and Aumtech America all reside in the

Central District of California, venue is proper in that district under § 1391(a)(1),*fn5 and § 1391(a)(3) 19 does not apply. Plaintiff does not claim that any of the defendants resides in the Northern District 20 of California, such that venue in this District would be proper under § 1391(a)(1). Rather, Plaintiff 21 claims that venue is proper because a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the 22 claim occurred in this District, pursuant to § 1391(a)(2). Plaintiff argues that venue is proper under 23

Securities Litigation, 70 F. Supp. 2d 678, 683 (E.D. Tex. 1999).

§ 1391(a)(2) for two reasons: (1) because the contracts underlying this action were entered into with 2 a corporation headquartered in this District and resulted in several years of substantial contacts with 3 this District, and (2) because Defendants are unfairly targeting Plaintiff's customers in this District. 4


Defendants make a number of arguments as to why the Court should find that venue in the

Northern District of California is improper. First, Defendants point out that Plaintiff alleges a 6 course of wrongful conduct that began in 2010 and took place in Southern California and in India. 7

Defendants claim that in 2007, ePayware closed its San Jose office, and of its four employees, three 8 worked out of their homes in Southern California or Nevada and only one worked out of his home 9 in San Jose. Jennifer Polito Venue Decl. ¶¶ 9-10. Thereafter, in October 2009, ePayware was 10 acquired by Richmond Technologies, a Georgia corporation with its principal place of business in

Alpharetta, Georgia. Id. ¶ 13; Compl. ¶ 12. Richmond Technologies' principals, Rajil Vohra and

Sandeep Menon, work out of offices in Alpharetta, and no one contends that Richmond 13

Decl. ¶¶ 13-14. Thus, Defendants argue that by 2010, when Defendants' wrongful conduct 15 allegedly began, no party to this case or to the contracts at issue was located in the Northern District 16 of California. 17


Las Vegas, Nevada. Id. ¶ 7. Shankar Bose likewise claims that he wrote, negotiated, and signed the 20

Non-Disclosure Agreement in India. Decl. of Shankar Bose ISO Mot. to Dismiss for Lack of 22

Defendants performed their contractual obligations in Southern California, Nevada, and India, and 24 only traveled to San Jose once or twice in 2007. See Jennifer Polito Venue Decl. ¶¶ 8, 10; Shankar 25

Jurisdiction ("Ila Bose Jurisdiction Decl.") ¶ 6, ECF No. 41. Finally, Jennifer Polito claims that, to 27 her knowledge, ePayware and Richmond Technologies did not have any clients within the Northern

Technologies has offices or employees in the Northern District of California. Jennifer Polito Venue 14

The American Defendants also question the strength of Defendants' contractual ties to the

Northern District of California. Jennifer Polito claims that she signed her contract with ePayware in 19

Memorandum of Understanding from his office in New Delhi, India, and that he also signed the 21

Personal Jurisdiction ("Shankar Bose Jurisdiction Decl.") ¶¶ 7-8, ECF No. 40. It also appears that 23

Bose Jurisdiction Decl. ¶¶ 6, 9; Decl. of Ila Bose ISO Mot. to Dismiss for Lack of Personal istrict of California, but did have clients in Southern California, including Intuit, International 2

Processing Solutions, Cardready, and APPS. Jennifer Polito Venue Decl. ¶¶ 11-12. Although Ms. 3

Polito acknowledges that Intuit has an office in Northern California, she contends that ePayware 4 interacted only with the merchant services department in Southern California. Id. ¶ 12. At the 5 motion hearing, however, Defendants' counsel conceded that ePayware's contract was likely with 6

If § 1391(a)(2) authorized venue in the single district in which the most substantial part of

8 the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred, the Court would agree with Defendants 9 that venue in the Northern District of California is improper. However, under the current version of 10

Intuit's headquarters in Northern California. 7

§ 1391(a)(2), the circuits appear to agree that venue may be proper in multiple districts if a

"substantial part" of the underlying events took place in each of those districts. See Gulf Ins. Co. v. Glasbrenner, 417 F.3d 353, 356 (2d Cir. 2005) (collecting cases from various federal courts of 13 appeals). Thus, Plaintiff need not show that the Northern District of California has the most 14 substantial relationship to the dispute, Kirkpatrick v. Rays Group, 71 F. Supp. 2d 204, 213 15

Supp. 2d 1262, 1269 (W.D. Wash. 2005). Rather, "for venue to be proper, significant events or 17 omissions material to the plaintiff's claim must have occurred in the district in question, even if 18 other material events occurred elsewhere." Gulf Ins. Co. v. Glasbrenner, 417 F.3d at 357. Where, 19 as here, a case involves a contract dispute, courts have "looked to such factors as where the contract 20 was negotiated or executed, where it was to be performed, and where the alleged breach occurred" 21 to determine whether venue is proper. Id. (quotation mark and citation omitted); see also 22

Shropshire v. Fred Rappoport Co., 294 F. Supp. 2d 1085, 1094 (N.D. Cal. 2003) (finding venue 23 proper in case turning on contract interpretation because contract was partially negotiated, signed, 24 and substantially performed in the district). 25

26 under the current version of § 1391(a)(2). However, the Ninth Circuit's decision in Decker Coal 27

(W.D.N.Y. 1999), or that it is the "best" venue. Silver Valley Partners, LLC v. De Motte, 400 F. 16

The Ninth Circuit has not articulated a clear test for determining whether venue is proper

Co. v. Commonwealth Edison Co., 805 F.2d 834 (9th Cir. 1986), provides helpful guidance. In 28

Decker Coal, the Ninth Circuit considered the proper venue for an action alleging breach of 2 contract. Although the case involved an earlier version of § 1391(a), the Court's analysis focused 3 on identifying the district "in which a substantial part of the acts, events, or omissions occurred that 4 gave rise to the claim." Id. at 842. The Ninth Circuit concluded that in a suit for breach of contract, 5 venue is proper not in the place where the contract was repudiated, but in the place of intended 6 performance. Id. In so concluding, the Ninth Circuit reasoned that "the place of performance is 7 determined at the inception of the contract and therefore parties can anticipate where they may be 8 sued." Id. 9

10 venue in the Northern District of California is proper. While the Defendants may have executed

Considering the facts of this case and the reasoning of Decker Coal, the Court finds that and performed their contracts in other locations, courts have recognized that modern technology 12 permits the negotiation and performance of contracts without face-to-face contacts and have found 13 venue proper in a district in which either party to a contract was located. See, e.g., Kirkpatrick v. 14

Rays Group, 71 F. Supp. 2d at 213-14 (discussing cases finding venue proper in district where the 15 defendant never set foot because "technology has advanced to the point that many contractual 16 arrangements may, today, be made without face-to-face meetings"). The Court has already 17 discussed the extent to which Aumtech India's contract tied it to San Jose and required frequent 18 communications with this District. Jennifer Polito similarly contracted with a San Jose-based 19 corporation and performed services on behalf of the San-Jose based corporation for several years. 20

The contracts entered into with San Jose-based ePayware form the basis for most of Plaintiff's 21 claims, and they ground this action in events that took place in, or in close connection with, the 22

Northern District of California. Moreover, under the reasoning of Decker Coal, it is appropriate to 23 lay venue in the District in which one party to the contract was located and to which obligations 24 under the contract were due, for that location "is determined at the inception of the contract and 25 therefore parties can anticipate where they may be sued." Decker Coal Co. v. Commonwealth 26

Edison Co., 805 F.2d at 842. For these reasons, the Court finds that a substantial part of the events

giving rise to Plaintiff's claims arose in the Northern District of California. Accordingly, venue in 2 this District is proper, and Defendants' motion to dismiss for improper venue is DENIED. 3


5 that venue is proper in this District, the Court turns to Plaintiff's motion for substituted service. At 6 this time, the three United States-based Defendants -- Aumtech America, Damian Polito, and 7

Bose, and Ila Bose -- have been notified of the lawsuit by email, but all parties agree that this does 9 not constitute proper service under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Plaintiff has moved to 10 serve the Indian Defendants by alternative means, pursuant to Rule 4(f)(3), by serving the summons 11 and complaint on the Indian Defendants' counsel, Drew L. Alexis of the Kinaga Law Firm in Los


IV. Motion for Substituted Service

Having determined that the Court can exercise personal jurisdiction over the Defendants and

Jennifer Polito -- have been properly served. The India-based Defendants -- Aumtech India, Shankar Angeles, California. 13

14 country "in any manner prescribed by Rule 4(f) for serving an individual, except personal delivery 15 under (f)(2)(C)(i)." Rule 4(f), in turn, provides several means by which a plaintiff may serve an 16 individual "at a place not within any judicial district of the United States." Pursuant to Rule 4(f)(1), 17 an individual or corporation may be served in a foreign country "by an internationally agreed means 18 of service that is reasonably calculated to give notice, such as those authorized by the Hague 19

Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra-judicial Documents." Rule 4(f)(3) further 20 provides for service "by any other means not prohibited by international agreement, as the court 21 orders." Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(f)(3). 22


Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(h)(2) provides for service of corporations in a foreign

In this case, the unserved Defendants are located in India, which is a signatory to the Hague

Convention referenced in Rule 4(f)(1). The Hague Convention requires signatory countries to 24 establish a Central Authority to receive requests for service of documents from other countries and 25 to serve those documents by methods compatible with the internal laws of the receiving state. See 26

Volkswagenwerk Aktiengesellschaft v. Schlunk, 486 U.S. 694, 698-99 (1988). Service through a 27 country's Central Authority is the principal means of service under the Hague Convention. Article 10 of Convention also permits other forms of service, such as service "by postal channels" or 2 through judicial officers, provided that the state of destination does not object.*fn6 See Convention on 3

1965 ("Hague Convention"), [1969] 20 U.S.T. 361, T.I.A.S. No. 6638, 1969 WL 97765, Art. 10. 5

However, because India has objected to Article 10, service by mail or through judicial officers is 6 not available. 7

Service Abroad of Judicial and Extra-judicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters, Nov. 15, 4

Here, Plaintiff contends that service through the Central Authority in India would take

8 between six and eight months and requests an order under Rule 4(f)(3) permitting substituted 9 service on the Indian Defendants' attorney in Los Angeles. In Rio Properties, Inc. v. Rio Intern. 10

As obvious from its plain language, service under Rule 4(f)(3) must be (1)

directed by the court; and (2) not prohibited by international agreement. No other

limitations are evident from the text. . . .

By all indications, court-directed service under Rule 4(f)(3) is as favored as service available under Rule 4(f)(1) or Rule 4(f)(2). . . . Rule 4(f)(3) is not

subsumed within or in any way dominated by Rule 4(f)'s other subsections; it stands independently, on equal footing. Moreover, no language in Rules 4(f)(1) or

4(f)(2) indicates their primacy, and certainly Rule 4(f)(3) includes no qualifiers or limitations which indicate its availability only after attempting service of process

by other means.

284 F.3d 1007, 1014-15 (9th Cir. 2002). Under the Ninth Circuit's analysis, Rule 4(f)(3) is "neither 18 a 'last resort' nor 'extraordinary relief.' It is merely one means among several which enables 19 service of process on an international defendant." Id. (citation omitted). 20

21 on their attorney under Rule 4(f)(3) comports with the Hague Convention. Although the Supreme 22

Court has stated, in dicta, that "compliance with the Convention is mandatory in all cases to which 23 it applies," Volkswagenwerk, 486 U.S. at 705, it has not provided clear guidance as to how the 24 Interlink, the Ninth Circuit characterized the scope of Rule 4(f)(3) as follows:

The question in this case is whether service of the Indian Defendants by substituted service requirements of the Hague Convention interact with a court's authority to order alternative service 2 under Rule 4(f)(3). It is clear that a federal court cannot order service under Rule 4(f)(3) "in 3 contravention of" the Hague Convention. See Rio Properties, Inc. v. Rio Intern. Interlink, 284 F.3d 4

1007, 1015 n.4 (9th Cir. 2002) ("A federal court would be prohibited from issuing a Rule 4(f)(3) 5 order in contravention of an international agreement, including the Hague Convention referenced in 6

Rule 4(f)(1)."). However, numerous courts have authorized alternative service under Rule 4(f)(3) 7 even where the Hague Convention applies. This is true even in cases involving countries that, like 8

Convention. See, e.g., In re LDK Solar Securities Litigation, No. C 07-05182 WHA, 2008 WL 10

4(f)(3), despite China's objections to Article 10, because the service requested did not involve

service by "postal channels"); Williams-Sonoma Inc. v. Friendfinder Inc., No. C 06-06572 JSW, 13

India, have objected to the alternative forms of service permitted under Article 10 of the Hague 9

2415186, at *3(N.D. Cal. June 12, 2008) (permitting service of Chinese defendants under Rule 2007 WL 1140639, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 17, 2007) (permitting service by email, but not by 14 international mail, for defendants in countries that objected to Article 10 of the Hague Convention). 15

(finding email and fax indistinguishable from "postal channels" and denying motion to serve 17

Some courts have reasoned that alternative service may be ordered pursuant to Rule 4(f)(3)

19 as long as the alternative method of service is not expressly prohibited by the Convention or 20 objected to by the receiving state. See, e.g., In re LDK Solar Securities Litigation, 2008 WL 21

2415186, at *3-4(permitting service of Chinese subsidiary and individual officers by service on 22 parent company in California because such service is not barred by the Hague Convention); 23

Convention does not expressly prohibit email service). Other courts have reasoned that because the 25

Hague Convention only applies if the law of the forum state requires service of documents abroad, 26

Volkswagenwerk, 486 U.S. at 700, the Hague Convention is not a barrier to any alternative service 27 28

But see Agha v. Jacobs, No. C 07-1800 RS, 2008 WL 2051061, at *1-2 (N.D. Cal. May 13, 2008) 16

German defendants by email or fax based on Germany's objection to Article 10). 18

Williams-Sonoma, 2007 WL 1140639, at *2 (permitting service by email because Hague

that will be performed domestically.*fn7 See FMAC Loan Receivables v. Dagra, 228 F.R.D. 531, 534-2

35 (E.D. Va. 2005) (ordering service on domestic counsel under Rule 4(f)(3) and finding that Hague 3

The Advisory Committee Notes to the 1993 Amendment of Rule 4(f)(1) state that when a

5 signatory state to the Hague Convention is "dilatory or refused to cooperate for substantive reasons . 6

Notes also indicate that Rule 4(f)(3) is appropriately used in "in cases of urgency if convention 8 methods will not permit service within the time required by the circumstances." In this case, 9

Indian nations and has been informed that the process can take six to eight months to complete.

Decl. of Shirish Gupta ISO Pl.'s Mot. for Substituted Service ¶ 6, ECF No. 34; see also Marlabs

Inc. v. Jakher, No. 07-cv-04074 (DMC)(MF), 2010 WL 1644041 (D. N.J. Apr. 22, 2010) (ordering 13 service on Indian defendants' counsel after plaintiff advised that service in India could take in 14 excess of six months and attempted without success to serve defendants). Plaintiff also claims that 15 it faces a threat of immediate, irreparable harm if it cannot obtain preliminary relief in this action. 16

Defendants have offered no evidence suggesting that service through Hague Convention methods is 17 likely to be completed more efficiently, and, as discussed below, the Court has found that Plaintiff's 18 claims of urgency have merit. Thus, Plaintiff has presented issues that require resolution with 19 greater urgency than the Hague Convention process can accommodate, and alternative service under 20

Service upon a foreign defendant's United States-based counsel is a common form of

22 service ordered under Rule 4(f)(3). See Knit With v. Knitting Fever, Inc., Nos. 08-4221, 08-4775, 23

Convention would not apply because service would be effected in the United States). 4

. . resort may be had to the provision set forth in subdivision (f)(3)." The Advisory Committee 7

Plaintiff counsel states that he has researched the Hague Convention requirements for serving

Rule 4(f)(3) is warranted. 21

2010 WL 4977944, at *4 (E.D. Pa. Dec. 7, 2010) ("Repeatedly, courts around the country have 2 found that service upon a foreign defendant through counsel is appropriate to prevent further delays 3 in litigation."). Nothing in the Hague Convention prohibits such service. See RSM Production 4

("The Hague Service Convention does not prohibit an order pursuant to Rule 4(f)(3) permitting 6 service through American counsel."). However, "the method of service crafted by the district court 7

Corp. v. Fridman, No. 06 Civ. 11512(DLC), 2007 WL 2295907, at *3 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 10, 2007) 5

[under Rule 4(f)(3)] must be 'reasonably calculated, under all the circumstances, to apprise 8 interested parties of the pendency of the action and afford them an opportunity to present their 9 objections.'" Rio Properties, 284 F.3d at 1016-17 (quoting Mullane v. Cent. Hanover Bank & Trust 10

the Kinaga Law Firm is reasonably calculated to apprise the Indian Defendants of the pendency of

the action and afford them an opportunity to present their objections. The Indian Defendants 13 already have actual notice of the action, and Mr. Alexis is already representing them for the purpose 14 of contesting personal jurisdiction and opposing substituted service. Mr. Alexis has also stated that 15 he will be filing an action against Plaintiff for non-payment of services rendered by Defendant 16

Considering that Shankar and Ila Bose are the principals of Aumtech India, it appears that their 18 relationship with Mr. Alexis is intended to be ongoing. Accordingly, service upon Mr. Alexis in 19

For the reasons discussed above, Plaintiff's motion for substituted service upon the Indian

Defendants' counsel pursuant to Rule 4(f)(3) is GRANTED. 22

Rule 65(b) for issuance of a TRO without notice to the adverse party. See Order Denying Ex Parte 26

Motion for TRO Without Prejudice, ECF No. 17. Having served the American Defendants and 27 provided notice by email to the Indian Defendants, Plaintiff now renews its motion for a TRO and Co., 339 U.S. 306, 314 (1950)). In this case, the Court is confident that service upon Mr. Alexis of Aumtech India. Decl. of Andrew L. Alexis in Opp'n to Renewed Mot. for TRO ¶ 7, ECF No. 55. 17

Los Angeles accords with the requirements of due process. 20


V.Renewed Motion for Temporary Restraining Order

On May 25, 2011, the Court denied Plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining order

("TRO") without prejudice on grounds that Plaintiff had not satisfied the requirements of Federal preliminary injunction. Specifically, Plaintiff seeks preliminary injunctive relief compelling 2

Defendants to turn over Plaintiff's source code and license keys,*fn8 and enjoining Defendants from 3 further breaching, or assisting in the breach of, the Non-Disclosure Agreement signed by Aumtech 4

India. 5


7 injunction. Brown Jordan Int'l, Inc. v. Mind's Eye Interiors, Inc., 236 F. Supp. 2d 1152, 1154 (D. 8

(N.D. Cal. 1995). A plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must make a four-fold showing: (1) 10 that he is likely to succeed on the merits; (2) that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the

absence of preliminary relief; (3) that the balance of equities tips in his favor; and (4) that an

injunction is in the public interest. Winter v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc., 129 S.Ct. 13

2009). The Ninth Circuit has also indicated that a preliminary injunction may issue in cases where 15 the plaintiff shows (1) serious questions going to the merits; (2) a hardship balance that tips sharply 16 towards the plaintiff; (3) a likelihood of irreparable injury; and (4) that the injunction is in the public 17 interest. Alliance for the Wild Rockies v. Cottrell, 632 F.3d 1127, 1135 (9th Cir. 2011). Under 18 either standard, however, preliminary injunctive relief is "an extraordinary remedy that may only be 19 awarded upon a clear showing that the plaintiff is entitled to such relief." Winter, 129 S.Ct. at 376.

principals, Shankar and Ila Bose, to turn over the source code and license keys developed for 25

A.Legal Standard

The standard for issuing a TRO is identical to the standard for issuing a preliminary

Haw. 2002); Lockheed Missile & Space Co., Inc. v. Hughes Aircraft Co., 887 F. Supp. 1320, 1323 365, 374 (2008); Amer. Trucking Assocs., Inc. v. City of Los Angeles, 559 F.3d 1046, 1052 (9th Cir. 14


1.Likelihood of Success on the Merits

a.Source Code

In its renewed TRO motion, Plaintiff seeks an injunction compelling Aumtech India and its Plaintiff, and enjoining all Defendants from further breaching, or assisting in the breach of, the non-2 compete covenants contained in the Non-Disclosure Agreement between ePayware and Aumtech 3

India. As to the source code, the parties appear to agree that under the terms of the MoU, the source 4 code developed for ePayware and its clients belongs to ePayware. However, Aumtech India 5 contends that because it has not been fully compensated for its software development services, 6

Plaintiff is not entitled to obtain the source code until it pays Aumtech India the money owed. In 7 support of this contention, Shankar Bose has submitted a series of emails documenting ePayware's 8 financial difficulties and its repeated underpayment of invoices issued by Aumtech India. See Decl. 9 of Shankar Bose in Opp'n to Renewed TRO Mot. ("Shankar Bose TRO Decl."), Exs. A-I. Mr. Bose 10 also submits an email sent from Richmond Technologies principal Rajil Vohra on March 7, 2011, in 11 which Vohra provides a payment plan that would "b

12 phased manner in the next 3-4 months time frame." Id. Ex. J. The payment plans provides for a 13 payment of $15,000 in March 2011, $20,000 in April 2011, $20,000 in May 2011, and $17,000 in 14

$15,000 and $20,000 payments for March and April 2011. Menon Decl. ¶ 6 & Ex. C. No payment 16 was made in May, however, and on May 16, 2011, Plaintiff terminated the software development 17 and maintenance agreement with Aumtech India. Id. ¶ 7. 18


$20,000 payment. Id. ¶ 9. Plaintiff, for its part, states that it has paid Aumtech India over $173,000 21 for its development and maintenance services since January 2010, id. ¶ 6, and claims that it owes no 22 further payments due to Aumtech India's breach of the Non-Disclosure Agreement. Indeed, in its 23

Plaintiff made after March 5, 2010, the date when Damian Polito filed the fictitious business name 25 statement for Aumtech America.*fn9 Compl. ¶ 43. Thus, the parties' dispute over the source code 26

enters on whether Plaintiff has performed its financial obligations under the parties' agreement, 2 which in turn depends on whether Aumtech India's alleged breach of the Non-Disclosure 3

Agreement excused Plaintiff from making payments. Because the Court finds below that Plaintiff 4 has demonstrated a likelihood of success on at least some of its contract claims, the Court finds that 5

Plaintiff is also likely to succeed in establishing an entitlement to the source code. 6

Plaintiff also contends that the remaining Defendants have aided in this breach, and that the 10

California Unfair Competition Law, Cal. Bus. & Profs. Code § 17200 et seq. Although Defendants

vehemently deny that they have used the source code or modules developed for Plaintiff in 13

Aumtech America's merchant services products, they do not deny that Aumtech America directly 14 competes with ePayware. The question, therefore, is whether Plaintiff is likely to prevail on its 15 claim that this competition constitutes a breach of enforceable contractual provisions or a violation 16 of the California Unfair Competition Law. 17

18 provisions that bar Aumtech India from competing with ePayware or soliciting its employees, 19 consultants, customers, accounts, or clients within a year after Aumtech India's term of employment 20 with ePayware ends.*fn10 See Menon Decl. Ex. B at ¶¶ 4-6. These provisions read as follows: 21

initiate any contact or communication with, solicit or attempt to solicit the employee of, or enter into any agreement with any employee, consultant, sales representative, or

account manager of EPI [ePayware] unless such person has ceased its relationship with EPI for a period of not less than six months. Similarly EPI shall not solicit the

employment of, or enter into any agreement with any employee, consultant or representative of AISPI [Aumtech India].

b.Non-Compete Agreements

Plaintiff claims that by teaming up with Jennifer Polito to form a competing venture,

Aumtech India has breached the non-compete provisions of the Non-Disclosure Agreement. 9

Defendants' actions constitute an unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent business practice under the

The Non-Disclosure Agreement between ePayware and Aumtech India contains a number of . Non-Solicitation. During the Term of this Employment (a[s] hereinafter defined), and for a period of one year thereafter, Recipient [shall not] directly or indirectly,

5. Non-Interference. During the Term of this Employment, and for a period of one year thereafter, Recipient will not initiate any contact or communication with, solicit or attempt to solicit, or enter into any agreement with, any account, acquiring bank, merchant, customer, client, or vendor of EPI in the products created and serviced by

EPI, unless (a) such person has ceased its relationship with EPI for a period of not less than six months, or (b) Recipient's relationship and association with such person

both (i) pre-existed the date of this Agreement and (ii) does not directly or indirectly

conflict with any of the current or reasonably anticipated future business of EPI.

6. Non Compete and Non Circumvent. Recipient will not compete with EPI with

similar product and or Service using its technology for a period of one year thereafter. Recipient will not use any of the EPI's technical know-how or Source Code for the

personal benefit other than the employment and to meet the customer needs defined by EPI.

Id. The Non-Disclosure Agreement also contains a provision that bars Aumtech India from 9 disclosing or using confidential information used in ePayware's business. Id. ¶ 3. Confidential 10

information is defined to include "Proprietary Data," such as "know-how," contract terms and conditions with merchants, technical data, and source code; "Business and Financial Data"; 12

"Marketing and Developing Operations"; and "Customers, Vendors, Contractors, and Employees," 13 including their names and identities, data provided by customers, and information on the products 14 and services purchased by customers. Id. ¶ 1. Confidential information does not include any 15 information that is publicly known, becomes publicly known through no wrongful act of Aumtech 16

India, or is disclosed to Aumtech India by a third-party having a right to do so. Id. ¶ 2. 17

18 solicitation, non-interference, and non-compete provisions in the Non-Disclosure Agreement are 19 unenforceable under California Business and Professions Code § 16600. Pursuant to Section 20

16600, "every contract by which anyone is restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, 21 or business of any kind is to that extent void," subject to statutory exceptions not relevant here. Cal. 22

Bus. & Profs. Code § 16600; see also Cal. Bus. & Profs. Code § 16601-07 (codifying exceptions for 23 non-compete agreements associated with the sale or dissolution of certain businesses and addressing 24 other special circumstances). In its recent decision in Edwards v. Arthur Andersen LLP, 44 Cal. 4th 25

937, 189 P.3d 285 (2008), the California Supreme Court confirmed the continued viability and 26 breadth of Section 16600. The Court explained that by enacting Section 16600, the California 27 legislature rejected the "rule of reasonableness" applied to non-compete agreements at common 28

Case No.: 11-CV-02460-LHK


Defendants argue that Plaintiff is not likely to prevail on its contract claims because the non- law. Edwards, 44 Cal. 4th at 945. As a result, "[t]oday in California, covenants not to compete are 2 void, subject to several exceptions," and the California Supreme Court "generally condemns 3 non-competition agreements." Id. at 945-46. 4

5 exception to Section 16600 for limited or narrow restraints applied in several Ninth Circuit cases. 6

In discussing the scope of Section 16600, the Edwards Court considered a judicially created

Id. at 948. Under this "narrow-restraint" exception, a number of Ninth Circuit cases upheld non-7 compete agreements that did not entirely preclude a party from pursuing its chosen profession, 8 trade, or business, but only barred the party from pursuing a small or limited part of its business. Id. 9 at 948-49. After considering the Ninth Circuit decisions and their support in California law, the 10

California Supreme Court rejected the narrow-restraint exception, finding that "California courts

have been clear in their expression that section 16600 represents a strong public policy of the state which should not be diluted by judicial fiat." Id. at 949. The Court concluded that "Section 16600 13 is unambiguous, and if the Legislature intended the statute to apply only to restraints that were 14 unreasonable or overbroad, it could have included language to that effect." Id. at 950. Accordingly, 15

Section 16600 stands as a broad prohibition on "every contract by which anyone is restrained from 16 engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind." Cal. Bus. & Profs. Code § 16600. 17


Because the Non-Disclosure Agreement is governed by California law, Menon Decl. Ex. B

¶ 12, Section 16600 would seem to apply and render void any clause that has the effect of 19 restraining Defendants from lawful engagement in the merchant services business. In its reply 20 brief, Plaintiff argues that Section 16600 does not apply to the Non-Disclosure Agreement because 21

Section 16600 bars only restrictions on employees, or that impact employees, and has no effect on 22 dealings between companies. The Court, however, finds no support for this proposition in either the 23 statutory language or the case law. Section 16600 addresses "every contract by which anyone is 24 restrained from engaging in a lawful profession, trade, or business of any kind." Cal. Bus. & Profs. 25

Code § 16600 (emphasis added). It is true that Edwards distinguished two earlier California cases 26 on grounds that the cases did not provide "any guidance on the issue of non-competition agreements, 27 largely because neither involved non-competition agreements in the employment context." Edwards, 44 Cal. 4th at 950 n.5. However, the Edwards Court further explained that these two 2 cases were inapposite because one involved a covenant in a deed to a parcel of land, and the other 3 involved a case "in which the court applied a trade secret exception to the statutory rule against 4 non-competition clauses." Id. at 949. Contrary to Plaintiff's argument, the Edwards Court did not 5 suggest that Section 16600 applies only in the narrow context of an employer-employee 6 relationship. Nor do the other cases cited by Plaintiff suggest such a rule. See General 7

1997) (upholding a non-solicitation agreement under the "narrow-restraint" exception to Section 9

2011 WL 1296602, at *3 & n.2 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 5, 2011) (permitting claims of misuse of

confidential information to go forward and noting that the statutory exception to § 16600 for

agreements in the sale of corporations applied). In fact, the General Commercial Packaging case 13 cited by Plaintiff explicitly applied Section 16600 to a contract between two corporations that 14 restrained one of the corporations from dealing directly with a third corporation. See General 15

App. 4th 708, 61 Cal. Rptr. 3d 818 (Cal. Ct. App. 2007) (applying § 16600 to a contract between a 17 corporation and a company that provided computer consulting services to the corporation). Thus, 18 the Court finds that Section 16600 is applicable to the facts of this case. 19

The applicability of Section 16600 does not automatically undermine Plaintiff's likelihood

20 of success on the merits, however. Although California courts have consistently "condemn[ed]" 21 agreements that place restraints on the pursuit of a business or profession, Edwards, 44 Cal. 4th at 22

946, "[a]n equally lengthy line of cases has consistently held former employees may not 23 misappropriate the former employer's trade secrets to unfairly compete with the former employer." 24

2009). Accordingly, "courts have repeatedly held a former employee may be barred from soliciting 26 existing customers to redirect their business away from the former employer and to the employee's 27 new business if the employee is utilizing trade secret information to solicit those customers."

Commercial Packaging, Inc. v. TPS Package Engineering, Inc.,126 F.3d 1131, 1132-34 (9th Cir. 16600); Southern California Institute of Law v. TCS Educ. System, No. CV 10--8026 PSG (AJWx),

Commercial Packaging,126 F.3d at 1132-34. See also VL Systems, Inc. v. Unisen, Inc., 152 Cal. Retirement Group v. Galante, 176 Cal. App. 4th 1226, 1237, 98 Cal. Rptr. 3d 585 (Cal. Ct. App. Retirement Group, 176 Cal. App. 4th at 1237 (emphasis in original). At times, courts have applied 2 this principle to create a "trade secret exception" to Section 16600, pursuant to which a non-3 compete or non-solicitation clause may be valid under Section 16600 if it is necessary to protect a 4 trade secret. See Asset Marketing Systems, Inc. v. Gagnon,542 F.3d 748, 758 (9th Cir. 2008) 5

("Under California law, non-competition agreements are unenforceable unless necessary to protect 6 an employer's trade secret."); Edwards, 44 Cal. 4th at 946 n.4 (noting but declining to address the 7

"so-called trade secret exception to section 16600"). Other cases suggest that case law protecting 8 trade secrets does not actually create an exception to Section 16600, but instead enables courts to 9 enjoin the misuse of trade secrets as an independent wrong, either as a tort or a violation of the non-interference provisions in the Non-Disclosure Agreement are likely to be found unenforceable 14 under California law. These provisions are more broadly drafted than necessary to protect 15 ePayware's trade secrets, and would have the effect of restraining Defendants from pursuing their 16 chosen business and professions if enforced. See Dowell,179 Cal. App. 4th at 577 (finding clauses 17 void as a matter of law because they were "not narrowly tailored or carefully limited to the 18 protection of trade secrets, but are so broadly worded as to restrain competition").For instance, the 19 non-solicitation and non-interference provisions broadly prohibit Aumtech India from "enter[ing] 20 into any agreement" with ePayware's clients or employees, regardless of whether Aumtech India 21 initiated the contact or whether the contact resulted in any misuse of trade secrets. Menon Decl. Ex. 22

B ¶¶ 4-5. California law simply does not countenance such broad restraints on competition. See 23

("Antisolicitation covenants are void as unlawful business restraints except where their enforcement 25 is necessary to protect trade secrets."); Robinson v. Jardine Ins. Brokers Intern. Ltd., 856 F. Supp. 26

Defendant's clients, regardless of who initiates contact" is likely invalid under § 16600). 28

Case No.: 11-CV-02460-LHK


Unfair Competition Law. See Retirement Group, 176 Cal. App. 4th at 1238; Dowell v. Biosense

Webster, Inc.,179 Cal. App. 4th 564, 577, 102 Cal. Rptr. 3d 1 (Cal. Ct. App. 2009).

Applying these principles to the instant action, the Court finds that the non-solicitation and Thompson v. Impaxx, Inc., 113 Cal. App. 4th 1425, 1429, 7 Cal. Rptr. 3d 427 (Cal. Ct. App. 2003) 554, 558-59 (N.D. Cal. 1994) (clause "prohibit[ing] Plaintiff from doing any business with similar product and or Service using its technology" and using "technical know-how" is not entirely 3 clear. See Menon Decl. Ex. B. ¶ 6. However, if the clause is construed to bar only the use of 4 confidential source code, software, or techniques developed for ePayware products or clients, it is 5 likely enforceable as necessary to protect ePayware's trade secrets. See Whyte v. Schlage Lock Co.,6

101 Cal. App. 4th 1443, 1456, 125 Cal. Rptr. 2d 277 (Cal. Ct. App. 2002) (stating that a company's 7 technological methods and technical "know-how" are "quintessential" trade secrets); Cal. Civ. Code 8

As to the non-compete clause, the scope of the prohibitions on "compet[ing] with EPI with

§ 3426.1 (defining "trade secret" to include programs, methods, and techniques that derive 9 independent economic value from not being generally known to the public, provided they are 10 subject to reasonable efforts to maintain their secrecy). Similarly, the clause prohibiting use of

confidential information is likely enforceable to the extent that the claimed confidential information 12 is protectable as a trade secret. 13

Based on the facts provided and the limited briefing of the issue, the Court finds that there

14 are at least serious questions going to the merits of Plaintiff's claims for breach of the non-compete 15 and confidential information clauses and for violations of the Unfair Competition Law. Plaintiff 16 alleges that Jennifer Polito worked directly with ePayware's clients "to gather their business and 17 technical requirements." Compl. ¶ 28. It seems that in her role as Business Analyst, Ms. Polito 18 identified specific client needs and then worked with Aumtech India to develop software tailored to 19 each client. Id. While Plaintiff has conceded that its client list is publicly available and does not 20 constitute a trade secret, the information gathered by Ms. Polito regarding customer preferences and 21

"specialized requirements" may be protected as a trade secret under California law. See Courtesy 22

App. 1990) (finding that sophisticated customer information, such as "billing rates, key contacts, 24 specialized requirements and markup rates" constitutes a trade secret); Lillge v. Verity, No. C 07-25

02748 MHP, 2008 WL 906466, at *5 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 1, 2008) ("knowledge of customer 26 preferences and characteristics that would aid the plaintiff in securing and retaining business" may 27 constitute a trade secret). Information about the technical and business needs of ePayware's clients 28

Case No.: 11-CV-02460-LHK


Temporary Service, Inc. v. Camacho, 222 Cal. App. 3d 1278, 1288, 272 Cal. Rptr. 352 (Cal. Ct. is valuable information that is not likely to be publicly available, and it seems that ePayware took 2 steps to protect this information by requiring its employees and contractors to sign non-disclosure 3 agreements. See Cal. Civ. Code § 3426.1. Similarly, as discussed above, the source code, software, 4 or other technical methods or process developed for ePayware are likely protectable trade secrets 5 that ePayware has taken steps to keep secret. 6

7 of this trade secret information. First, Plaintiff makes the basic claim that the KARES software 8 suite marketed by Aumtech America is very similar in structure and function to ePayware's 9 software suite. Menon Decl. ¶ 17 & Ex. H. The Court agrees with Defendants that the mere 10 similarity between the parties' products is not sufficient to show that Defendants have used Moreover, Plaintiff has presented evidence suggesting that Defendants may be making use

ePayware source code or other trade secrets to develop the KARES software. See Shankar Bose TRO Decl. ¶ 29 (explaining that merchant service providers follow a standard process and therefore 13 software suites may look similar). However, Plaintiff has submitted evidence of more than mere 14 product similarity. For instance, Plaintiff makes persuasive allegations that Defendants have taken 15 steps to make it appear as though they, rather than ePayware, directly serve ePayware's clients. In 16 particular, Plaintiff alleges sometime before the launch of Aumtech America, Aumtech India 17 employees began corresponding with ePayware clients using their Aumtech email accounts, rather 18 than ePayware addresses. Compl. ¶ 6; Menon Decl. ¶ 20. Plaintiff also claims that the Aumtech 19

¶ 32. As to client solicitation, Plaintiff alleges that Aumtech America has directly targeted 21 ePayware's clients, and, in particular, that Jennifer Polito contacted ePayware client First Pay 22

In addition, Plaintiff also contends that both Jennifer Polito and Shankar Bose took measures

24 to conceal their activities from ePayware and to delete data needed by ePayware to maintain its 25 relationships with its clients. Specifically, Plaintiff alleges that after Jennifer Polito resigned from 26 ePayware, she used three different programs ("CCleaner," "Active KillDisk Free Suite," and "R-27

America website lists ePayware clients as though they were clients of Aumtech America. Compl. 20

Solutions, LLC, and encouraged it to switch to Aumtech America. Compl. ¶ 32. 23

Wife & Clean 9.3") to delete data from the hard drive of her ePayware-issued laptop before returning it to Plaintiff. Compl. ¶ 30; Suppl. Decl. of Sandeep Menon ISO Renewed TRO Mot. 2

("Suppl. Menon Decl.") ¶ 28, ECF No. 35. Plaintiff claims that these programs "wiped all of the 3 slack space on the hard drive and wrote over the areas repeatedly with patterned hex data," such that 4 no Word, Excel, or PowerPoint files could be recovered. Suppl. Menon Decl. ¶ 28. Although 5

Jennifer Polito claims that she provided Plaintiff all of her work-related files, Plaintiff maintains 6 that she did not provide her ePayware emails and that at least some document files were destroyed. 7

Reply Br. ISO Renewed TRO Mot. at 2, ECF No. 57. Similarly, it appears that Shankar Bose 8 deleted all of the emails in his ePayware account. Suppl. Menon Decl. ¶ 29. Plaintiff claims that 9 the loss of these emails will make it more difficult for Plaintiff to transition its customers to a new 10 vendor, as these emails contained a history of the issues each customer faces and the responses

suggestive of deceptive activity and supports an inference that Defendants sought to appropriate 14 confidential information for their own use and to interfere with Plaintiff's access to that 15 information. Accordingly, based on this information, and subject to new information or arguments 16 that may be presented in opposition to a preliminary injunction, the Court finds that Plaintiff has 17 established at least serious questions going to the merits of its claims that Defendants have engaged 18 in unfair competition and breach, or interfered with, the non-compete and confidential information 19 provisions of the Non-Disclosure Agreement. 20


22 in the absence of a temporary restraining order. Ordinarily, economic injury is not considered 23 irreparable, as it may be remedied by monetary damages. Rent-A-Center, Inc. v. Canyon Television 24 and Appliance Rental, Inc., 944 F.2d 597, 603 (9th Cir. 1991). However, the Ninth Circuit has 25 recognized that "intangible injuries, such as damage to ongoing recruitment efforts and goodwill, 26 qualify as irreparable harm." Id.; see also MySpace, Inc. v. Wallace, 498 F. Supp. 2d 1293, 1305 27 28

Case No.: 11-CV-02460-LHK


provided by Aumtech India. Id.

Although this evidence is certainly not dispositive, when considered as a whole, it is

2.Irreparable Harm

The Court also finds that Plaintiff has demonstrated that it is likely to suffer irreparable harmunquantifiable and considered 2 irreparable."). 3

4 that it requires the code and keys in order to fulfill its maintenance obligations to its clients. Menon 5

Here, as to the source code and licensing keys, Plaintiff has submitted declarations stating

Decl. ¶¶ 11-12; Suppl. Menon Decl. ¶¶ 24-27. Plaintiff represents that since May 23, 2011, at least 6 four of its customers, including two of its largest customers, have complained about the lack of 7 support and maintenance for their ePayware modules, and that others have been asking for their 8 license keys. Suppl. Menon Decl. ¶¶ 24-25. Plaintiff also states that approximately 85% of its 9 revenue over the past year has come from its enterprise resource planning software, and that it has 10 had to furlough staff due to its inability to maintain this software without the source code. Third

Decl. of Sandeep Menon INSO Renewed TRO Mot. ("Third Menon Decl.") ¶¶ 33-34. There is

United States District Court

For the Northern District of California

some dispute as to whether the source code is required to provide routine maintenance to ePayware 13 customers, or whether it is only required to make amendments or changes to a client's system. 14

Court is persuaded that Plaintiff requires immediate access to the code and keys in order to respond 16 quickly to its clients' needs. The Court finds it quite likely that if Plaintiff is continually unable to 17 provide a license key or make modifications to a client's software when requested, Plaintiff will 18 lose the good will of its clients, and its business reputation will suffer. 19


Court agrees that Plaintiff has shown a likelihood of irreparable harm. Plaintiff represents that the 22 enterprise resource planning software market is quite competitive, Menon Decl. ¶ 21, and suggests 23 that it may have already lost a customer to Aumtech America. Id. ¶ 15. Moreover, to the extent 24 that Aumtech America's website lists ePayware customers as if they were Aumtech America 25 customers, Plaintiff faces likely damage to its business reputation and confusion in the marketplace 26 that may be difficult to remedy. If Defendants are permitted to compete with Plaintiff, over the 27 course of this lawsuit, through the misuse of trade secret information, the Court must agree that this 28

Shankar Bose TRO Decl. ¶ 13. Even if the code is required only for modifications, however, the 15

Similarly, to the extent that Defendants are using Plaintiff's trade secrets to compete with

Plaintiff and to encourage Plaintiff's customers to


would likely result in some loss of clients to Plaintiff and a decline in business reputation and 2 goodwill that is sufficient to establish irreparable harm. 3


5 order, the balance of equities will tip significantly in favor of Plaintiff. The Court has already found 6 that Plaintiff is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of a temporary restraining order. 7

3.Balance of Equities

As to the balance of equities, if the Court imposes only a narrow temporary restraining

Because of the restrictions of California Business and Professions Code § 16600, any TRO imposed 8 by the Court would be narrowly tailored to prohibit only the misuse of trade secrets and would 9 permit Defendants to compete, in a lawful manner, with Plaintiff. Such an order would not cause 10 any hardship to Defendants, beyond the basic requirement that they comply with laws prohibiting 11 unauthorized use of another's trade secrets. Defendants would be free to market any products not


Plaintiff's existing customers, so long as they did not solicit those agreements using confidential 14 client information. Such a narrow injunction should permit Defendants to pursue a lawful 15 competing enterprise without undue restrictions. As to the source code, Defendants concede at the 16 motion hearing that turning it over would cause them no harm, and they are merely concerned with 17 obtaining the funds they contend Plaintiff owes them. Accordingly, assuming a narrow injunction 18 with an appropriate bond, the Court finds that the equities tip significantly in favor of Plaintiff. 19


21 temporary restraining order. As discussed above, California has a "settled legislative policy in 22 favor of open competition and employee mobility." See Edwards, 44 Cal. 4th at 946. At the same 23 time, the State also has a strong history of protecting trade secrets from misuse. See Retirement 24

Group, 176 Cal. App. 4th at 1237. Although a broad injunction would clearly intrude upon the 25 policy in favor of open competition, the Court believes that a narrowly tailored injunction will serve 26 the policy of protecting Plaintiff's trade secrets, while permitting Defendants to compete within the 27 bounds of the law. 28

based upon Plaintiff's source code or other trade secrets, and could enter into agreements with 13

4.Public Interest

Finally, as to the public interest, the Court finds this factor to favor a narrowly tailored warranted. However, in light of the restrictions of Section 16600 and California's policy in favor of 4 open competition, the Court will issue only a narrow TRO, as follows: 5

current source code and license keys developed for ePayware clients that have not yet been released to Plaintiff.

(2) Defendants are temporarily enjoined from listing current ePayware

C.Scope of Temporary Restraining Order and Bond

Based on the above analysis, the Court finds that issuance of a temporary restraining order is

(1) After Plaintiff deposits $20,000 with the Court as bond, Defendants shall turn over all of the 6



Aumtech America website in a manner that suggests those customers are Aumtech America customers.

(3) Defendants are temporarily enjoined from initiating contact with current ePayware customers or clients regarding Aumtech America's enterprise resource planning software,unless none of the Defendants had knowledge of or contact with those customers duringtheir terms of employment with ePayware. However, Defendants may engage in marketingefforts directed at the merchant services market as a whole, such as attending trade shows.

(4) Defendants are temporarily enjoined from using ePayware's information about its customers' technical and business requirements, or other confidential client information, to solicit or obtain agreements with those customers. However, Defendants may enter into agreements with ePayware's customers if the customer initiates the contact and none of ePayware's confidential information will be used in negotiating, executing, or performing the agreement.

(5) Defendants are temporarily enjoined from using any of ePayware's source codes, software, methods, techniques, or other trade secret information in Aumtech America's products or services. However, Defendants may provide and market similar, competing products and services, so long as none of ePayware's trade secrets are used in those products or services.

D.Preliminary Injunction Hearing

Because issues of personal jurisdiction, venue, and service remained uncertain at the time of

3 the June 23, 2011 hearing, the Court indicated that any injunctive relief would be ordered as a 4 temporary restraining order, with further briefing regarding a preliminary injunction to follow. At 5 the hearing, Defendants indicated that they would like two weeks after the issuance of a TRO to 6 brief Plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction. The parties indicated that they would be 7 amenable to holding the preliminary injunction hearing on August 1, 2011. Pursuant to Federal 8

Rule of Civil Procedure 65(b)(2), a TRO issued without notice to the adverse party expires after 14 9 days, unless the court extends the TRO for good cause or the adverse party consents to an extension. 10

Here, the TRO was issued with notice, and the adverse party has consented to an extension of the 14-day period.

Accordingly, the Court hereby ORDERS Defendants to show cause why a preliminary

13 injunction should not issue. Defendants' opposition is due July 15, 2011. Plaintiff's reply is due July 22, 2011. The Court will hold a hearing on August 1, 2011 at 2 p.m. Although the Court has 15 only required a $20,000 bond in conjunction with the TRO, the Court anticipates that additional 16 bond may be appropriate if a preliminary injunction issues. The parties are instructed to fully brief 17 the issue of an appropriate bond amount, as well as any other issues that may affect the Court's 18 analysis. 19



For the foregoing reasons, the Court GRANTS Plaintiff's motion for substituted service,

DENIES Defendants' motions to dismiss, and GRANTS in part and DENIES in part Plaintiff's 22 motion for a temporary restraining order. Defendants are ORDERED to show cause why a 23 preliminary injunction should not issue. The Court will hold a hearing on Plaintiff's motion for 24 preliminary injunction, including the issue of bond, on August 1, 2011 at 2:00 p.m. 25


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