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Adobe Systems Inc. v. My Choice Software, LLC

United States District Court, N.D. California, San Jose Division

November 14, 2014

ADOBE SYSTEMS INCORPORATED, Plaintiff,
v.
MY CHOICE SOFTWARE, LLC, et al., Defendants

For Adobe Systems Incorporated, a Delaware Corporation, Plaintiff: Christopher Quang Pham, LEAD ATTORNEY, Christopher Dain Johnson, Nicole L Drey, Johnson & Pham, LLP, Woodland Hills, CA.

For My Choice Software, LLC, a California Limited Liability Company, Nathan Mumme, Daniel Parker, Defendants: Richard Edward Quintilone, II, LEAD ATTORNEY, Quintilone and Associates, Lake Forest, CA.

ORDER DENYING MOTION TO DISMISS; DENYING ALTERNATIVE MOTION FOR MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT; AND DENYING MOTION FOR TRANSFER [Re: ECF 24]

BETH LABSON FREEMAN, United States District Judge.

Plaintiff Adobe Systems, Inc. (" Adobe") asserts trademark, copyright, and related claims against My Choice Software, LLC (" My Choice") and two of its part-owners, Nathan Mumme (" Mumme") and Daniel Parker (" Parker") (collectively, " Defendants"), based upon their alleged sales of pirated, counterfeit, and otherwise unauthorized Adobe software products. Before the Court are (1) Defendants' motion to dismiss the operative first amended complaint (" FAC") under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6); (2) Defendants' alternative motion for more definite statement under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(e); and (3) Defendants' motion for transfer of venue to the Central District of California under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). The Court has considered the briefing and the oral argument presented at the hearing on November 13, 2014. For the reasons discussed below, the motion to dismiss is DENIED, the alternative motion for more definite statement is DENIED, and the motion for transfer is DENIED.

I. BACKGROUND[1]

Adobe is a corporation organized under the laws of Delaware with its principal place of business in San Jose, California. Adobe develops and distributes computer software. It has gained significant common law trademark recognition of its ADOBE and ACROBAT marks, has obtained registrations for its ADOBE and ACROBAT marks from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, and has obtained registrations for copyrightable ADOBE ACROBAT software and other software from the United States Copyright Office.[2]

My Choice is a limited liability company organized under the laws of California with its principal place of business in Mission Viejo, California. My Choice was authorized to distribute Adobe's software under certain terms pursuant to an " Adobe Partner Connection Program Reseller Agreement" (" Agreement"). See FAC Exh. C.[3] Adobe claims that My Choice breached the Agreement and infringed upon Adobe's trademarks and copyrights by ordering Adobe software products from unauthorized distributers, selling licenses for counterfeit and/or unauthorized OEM software products, and selling electronic software downloads without a license. Adobe asserts the following claims against My Choice, Mumme, and Parker: (1) infringement of registered trademarks under 15 U.S.C. § 1114; (2) false designation of origin, false or misleading advertising, and unfair competition under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a); (3) dilution under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(c); (4) copyright infringement under 17 U.S.C. § 501(a); (5) unlawful, unfair, and fraudulent business practices under § 17200; and (6) breach of contract.

II. MOTION TO DISMISS AND MOTION FOR MORE DEFINITE STATEMENT

A. Legal Standard

1. Motion to Dismiss

" A motion to dismiss under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted 'tests the legal sufficiency of a claim.'" Conservation Force v. Salazar, 646 F.3d 1240, 1241-42 (9th Cir. 2011) (quoting Navarro v. Block, 250 F.3d 729, 732 (9th Cir. 2001)). When determining whether a claim has been stated, the Court accepts as true all well-pled factual allegations and construes them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff. Reese v. BP Exploration (Alaska) Inc., 643 F.3d 681, 690 (9th Cir. 2011). However, the Court need not " accept as true allegations that contradict matters properly subject to judicial notice" or " allegations that are merely conclusory, unwarranted deductions of fact, or unreasonable inferences." In re Gilead Scis. Sec. Litig., 536 F.3d 1049, 1055 (9th Cir. 2008) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). While a complaint need not contain detailed factual allegations, it " must contain sufficient factual matter, accepted as true, to 'state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.'" Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009) (quoting Bell A. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007)). A claim is facially plausible when it " allows the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant is liable for the misconduct alleged." Id.

2. Motion for More Definite Statement

Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(e), " [a] party may move for a more definite statement of a pleading to which a responsive pleading is allowed but which is so vague or ambiguous that the party cannot reasonably prepare a response." Fed.R.Civ.P. 12(e). " However, motions for a more definite statement are disfavored, and ordinarily restricted to situations where a pleading suffers from unintelligibility rather than want of detail." I.R. ex rel. Nava v. City of Fresno, No. 1:12-CV-00558 AWI GSA, 2012 WL 3879974, at *1 (E.D. Cal. Sept. 6, 2012) (internal quotation marks and citations omitted). A Rule 12(e) motion must be denied " if the complaint is specific enough to notify defendant of the substance of ...


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