The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable Gary Allen Feess
Present: The Honorable GARY ALLEN FEESS
Renee Fisher None N/A Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder Tape No.
Attorneys Present for Plaintiff: Attorneys Present for Defendants:
Proceedings: (In Chambers)
ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: PERSONAL JURISDICTION
INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
Plaintiffs Sennheiser Electronic Corporation, d/b/a Sennheiser USA, a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Connecticut ("Sennheiser USA"), and Sennheiser Electronic GMBH & Co. KG, a German limited liability company with its principal place of business in Wedemark, Germany ("Sennheiser Germany"), are among the world's leading manufacturers of microphone technology, RF-wireless and infrared sound transmission, headphones transducer technology, and active noise cancellation technology. They manufacture a wide variety of electronic sound products for personal and professional use and distribute various Sennheiser products throughout the United States. Plaintiffs operate an unspecified "substantial" part of their business in California. (Docket No. 1 [Compl.] ¶¶ 1, 10--12.)
Plaintiffs are also the exclusive owners of federally-registered trademarks, including Registration Nos. 813,211 (SENNHEISER); 1,308,693 (SENNHEISER); and 1,807,190 (stylized SENNHEISER), in connection with electrical audio equipment, including "earphones." (Docket No. 12 [Vener Decl.] ¶ 11, Ex. E.) In this lawsuit, Plaintiffs allege that Defendant Kseniya Evstigneeva has operated an eBay web page on which she offers for sale counterfeit electronics bearing Plaintiffs' marks, including headphones. (Compl. ¶¶ 2, 21--22). As of August 17, 2011, Defendant's web page showed 109 customer comments in relation to Sennheiser branded products sold by Defendant. (Id. ¶ 22, Ex. C.) On May 29, 2011, in their ongoing investigation of counterfeit sales of Sennheiser branded products, Plaintiffs purchased a pair of "Sennheiser cx 380 Sport II" headphones from Defendant to determine their authenticity. (Vener Decl. ¶¶ 7--8, Ex. D.) Defendant shipped the purchased item to a California address, and Plaintiffs' inspection of the item confirmed that it was in fact a counterfeit. (Id.)
Plaintiffs filed suit in this Court on September 22, 2011 and assert violations of § 32 of the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1114 (trademark infringement); § 43(a) of the Lanham Act, 15 § 1125(a) (false designation of origin/unfair competition); § 43(c) of the Lanham Act, 15 § 1125(c) (trademark dilution); and Cal. Bus. & Prof. Code sections 17200 et seq. (unfair business practices). Evstigneeva was personally served at her residential address in Brooklyn, New York, on October 1, 2011, and has not appeared in this action to date. (Compl. ¶ 2; Vener Decl. ¶ 4, Ex. A.) The court clerk entered default against her on February 15, 2012. (Docket No. 10.) Plaintiffs now seek entry of a default judgment against Defendant. (Docket No. 12.)
However, for the reasons discussed below, the Court cannot presently determine whether it may exercise personal jurisdiction over Defendant. Accordingly, Plaintiff is ORDERED to show cause why the case ...