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Otter Products LLC v. Custom Offshore Tackle LLC et al

March 4, 2013

OTTER PRODUCTS LLC
v.
CUSTOM OFFSHORE TACKLE LLC ET AL



The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable Gary Allen Feess

LINK: 11

CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

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:

None None Proceedings: (In Chambers)

ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: PERSONAL JURISDICTION

I.

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

Plaintiff Otter Products, LLC, an LLC formed in Colorado with its principal place of business in Fort Collins, Colorado, is a leading manufacturer, distributor, and retailer of protective cases and accessories for personal electronic devices such as cell phones, readers, and tablets. Plaintiff asserts that "Defendants' actions within this district directly interfere with and damage Plaintiff's commercial efforts and endeavors and harms Plaintiff's goodwill within this Venue." (Docket No. 1. [Compl.] ¶¶ 1, 22, 24-25.)

Plaintiff is also the exclusive owner of federally-registered trademarks, including Registration Nos. 2287619 (Otter Box)*fn1 ; 3791318 (Otter symbol); 3788535 (Otter Box); 3788534 (Otterbox); 3865367 (phrase "We've got technology covered"); and 3623789 (Defender Series) in connection with protective cases for handheld electronic devices. (Compl. ¶¶ 30-32, Exs. A-F.) In this lawsuit, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants Custom Offshore Tackle, LLC and Loannis P. Choutris (collectively "Defendants") operate an eBay web page on which Defendants offered for sale counterfeit cases bearing Plaintiff's marks. (Compl. ¶¶ 35-36.) "As of May 4, 2012, Defendants' webpage showed at least 1,190 prior sales of OTTERBOX-branded products with a total 11,733 units listed for sale." (Id. ¶ 36; Docket No. 11-1, [Declaration of Ani S. Garibyan ("Garibyan Decl.")] ¶ 8, Exs. I-J.) On August 7, 2012, in its ongoing investigation of counterfeit sales of Otter-branded products, Plaintiff purchased an "OtterBox iPhone 4 4S Defender Series Camo Orange Shell - FREE SHIPPING" from Defendants to determine its authenticity. (Compl. ¶ 38; Garibyan Decl. ¶¶ 9-10, Exs. K-L.) Defendants shipped the purchased item to a Calabasas, California address, and Plaintiff's inspection of the item confirmed that it was in fact a counterfeit. (Compl. ¶ 39; Garibyan Decl. ¶ 10, Exs. K-L.)

Plaintiff filed suit in this Court on October 30, 2012 and asserted 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). Defendants were each personally served at an address in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on December 5, 2012, and have not appeared in this action to date. (Compl. ¶¶ 2-3; Garibyan Decl. ¶ 15.) The court clerk entered default against them on January 17, 2013. (Docket No. 10.) Plaintiff now seek entry of default judgment against Defendants. (Docket No.

However, for the reasons discussed below, the Court cannot presently determine whether it may exercise personal jurisdiction over Defendants. Accordingly, Plaintiff is ORDERED to show cause why the case should not be dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction.

II.

...


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