United States District Court, C.D. California
NELSON MOTIVATION, INC. and BOB NELSON, Plaintiffs,
WALTON MOTIVATION, INC; DAVID OLSON; and DOES 1-10, Defendants.
ORDER RE: DEFENDANT DAVID OLSON’S MOTION TO
DISMISS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION 
HONORABLE RONALD S.W. LEW Senior U.S. District Judge.
before the Court is Defendant David Olson’s
(“Olson”) Motion to Dismiss pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) for lack of personal
jurisdiction  (“Motion”). Having reviewed all
papers submitted pertaining to this Motion, the Court NOW
FINDS AND RULES AS FOLLOWS: the Court DENIES the Motion.
Nelson Motivation, Inc. (“NMI”) is a California
corporation located in San Diego, California. Compl. ¶
2, ECF No. 1. NMI is in the business of providing management
training and consulting. Id. at ¶ 16.
Dr. Bob Nelson (“Nelson”) is an individual
residing in San Diego. Id. at ¶ 3. Nelson is the
president of NMI. Id. at ¶ 16. Nelson is also a
leading expert on employee motivation, performance,
engagement, recognition, and rewards. Id. at ¶
12. Nelson assigned to NMI his copyright rights in the works
entitled “1501 Ways to Reward Employees” and
“1001 Ways to Reward Employees” (collectively,
“the Works”), which are the subject of U.S.
Copyright Registration Nos. TX 7-547-752, TX 6-196-443, and
TX 3-789-192. Id. at ¶ 15.
Walton is a Pennsylvania corporation. Id. at ¶
4. Defendant Olson is an individual residing in Allentown,
Pennsylvania and is an officer of Walton. Id. at
about April 20, 2010, NMI entered into a license agreement
(the “License Agreement”) with Walton, granting
Walton the right to use Plaintiffs’ intellectual
property, including Plaintiffs’ trademarks, copyrights
in the Works, and Nelson’s likeness. Id. at
April 2015, the License Agreement terminated. Id. at
¶¶ 20-21. Defendants, however, allegedly continued
to use Plaintiffs’ name, likeness, and the Works in
advertising their software service, RecognitionPRO.
Id. at ¶ 21.
demanded that Defendants cease all use of Plaintiffs’
name, likeness, and the Works, but Defendants allegedly
failed to comply. Id. at ¶ 23.
March 17, 2016, Plaintiffs filed a Complaint  against
Defendants alleging seven claims: (1) federal copyright
infringement; (2) breach of contract; (3) misappropriation of
name and likeness under California law; (4) violation of the
right of publicity under California law; (5) declaratory
relief; (6) California unfair competition; and (7) common law
unfair competition. Plaintiffs allege in their Complaint that
Olson had full knowledge of the infringement and
misappropriation of Nelson’s likeness, and individually
directed the infringing acts and omissions. Id. at
¶ 24. Plaintiffs further allege that Olson provided for
the forfeiture of Nelson’s shares to gain a personal
filed the instant Motion  on May 20, 2016.
Plaintiffs’ Opposition  and Olson’s Reply
 were timely filed, and the Motion was taken under
submission on June 24, 2016.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2)
action may be dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction
pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2). On a
Rule 12(b)(2) motion, the plaintiff bears the burden to
demonstrate that the court may properly exercise jurisdiction
over the defendant. Pebble Beach Co. v. Caddy, 453
F.3d 1151, 1154 (9th Cir. 2006); Barantsevich v. VTB
Bank, 954 F.Supp.2d 972, 981 (C.D. Cal. 2013). Absent
formal discovery or an evidentiary hearing, the plaintiff
need only make a prima facie showing that jurisdiction is
proper to survive dismissal. Pebble Beach, 453 F.3d
satisfy this burden, the plaintiff can rely on the
allegations in the complaint to the extent they are not
controverted by the moving party. Barantsevich, 954
F.Supp.2d at 982; Doe v. Unocal Corp., 248 F.3d 915,
922 (9th Cir. 2001) (“Where not directly controverted,
plaintiff’s version of the facts is taken as true for
purposes of a 12(b)(2) motion to dismiss.”). If
defendants adduce evidence controverting the allegations,
however, the plaintiff must “come forward with facts,
by affidavit or otherwise, supporting personal
jurisdiction.” Barantsevich, 954 F.Supp.2d at
982 (quoting Scott v. Breeland, 792 F.2d 925, 927
(9th Cir. 1986)). Conflicts between the parties over
statements contained in affidavits or declarations must be
resolved in plaintiff’s favor. Schwarzenegger v.
Fred Martin Motor Co., 374 F.3d 797, 800 (9th Cir.
2004); Love v. Associated Newpapers, Ltd., 611 F.3d
601, 608 (9th Cir. 2010). “At the same time, however,
the plaintiff must submit admissible evidence in support of
its prima facie case.” Am. Inst. of Intradermal
Cosmetics, Inc. v. Soc’y of Permanent Cosmetic
Prof’ls, No. CV 12-06887 GAF (JCGx), 2013 WL
1685558, at *4 (C.D. Cal. Apr. 16, 2013).
jurisdiction over a defendant is proper if it is permitted by
a long-arm statute and if the exercise of that jurisdiction
does not violate federal due process.” Pebble
Beach, 453 F.3d at 1154-55. California authorizes
jurisdiction to the full extent permitted by the
Constitution. See Cal. Code Civ. Proc. § 410.
Therefore, the only question this Court must ask is whether
the exercise of jurisdiction over Olson would be consistent
with due process. Harris Rutsky & Co. Ins. Servs.,
Inc. v. Bell & Clements Ltd., 328 F.3d 1122, 1129
(9th Cir. 2003).
process requires that a defendant must have such
“minimum contacts” with the forum state that
“maintenance of the suit does not offend traditional
notions of fair play and substantial justice.”
Int’l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310,
316 (1945). The minimum contacts requirement means that the
defendant must have purposefully availed himself of the
privilege of conducting activities within the forum, thereby
invoking the benefits and protections of the forum’s
laws. See Asahi Metal Indus. Co. v. Sup. Ct. of
Cal., 480 U.S. 102, 109 (1987).
are two recognized bases for exercising jurisdiction over a
non-resident defendant: (1) “general jurisdiction,
” which arises where defendant’s activities in
the forum are sufficiently “substantial” or
“continuous and systematic” to justify the
exercise of jurisdiction over him in all matters; and (2)
“specific jurisdiction, ” which arises when a
defendant’s contacts with the forum give rise to the
claim in question. Helicopteros Nacionales de Colombia,
S.A. v. Hall, 466 U.S. 408, 414-16 (1984); Doe v.
Am. Nat’l Red Cross, 112 F.3d 1048, 1050-51 (9th
Jurisdiction Over an Employee
argues that he is merely an officer of Walton, and
Walton’s contacts with California cannot be imputed to
him to establish personal jurisdiction. Reply 5:19-20. Olson
argues that he, as an individual, does not have sufficient
contacts with California to establish personal jurisdiction.
Id. at 6:7-11.
Supreme Court has explained that employees’
“contacts with California are not to be judged
according to their employer’s activities there. On the
other hand, their status as employees does not somehow
insulate them from jurisdiction. Each defendant’s
contacts with the forum State must be assessed
individually.” Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783,
790 (1984); see also Rush v. Savchuk, 444 U.S. 320,
discussed below, Plaintiffs have alleged sufficient facts to
demonstrate that this Court has specific personal
jurisdiction over Olson. Olson’s status as an officer