Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Kirakosian v. J&L Sunset Wholesale & Tobacco

United States District Court, C.D. California

July 18, 2017

ALBERT KIRAKOSIAN ET AL
v.
J&L SUNSET WHOLESALE & TOBACCO ET AL.

          Present: The Honorable CHRISTINA A. SNYDER Catherine Jeang

          CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL

         Proceedings: (IN CHAMBERS) - HEAVY HITTER'S MOTION TO DISMISS AND SEVER (Dkt. 102, filed June 2, 2017)

         I. INTRODUCTION

         On August 15, 2016, plaintiff Albert Kirakosian and his business, Kiraco, LLC, filed this action against seventeen hookah retailers and Does 1-100. Dkt. 1 ("Compl."). The gravamen of plaintiff s complaint is that the defendants infringed upon plaintiffs patent and trademark rights by selling or offering to sell counterfeit hookah products. Id. On April 28, 2017, plaintiff filed a first amended complaint against the following defendants: J&L D Sunset Wholesale & Tobacco[1]; Wholesale Palace, Inc.; Jack Haroun; Glenoaks House of Smokes; Glendale House of Smokes; Levon Vardanyan; Planet Tobacco; Hayk's Smoke Shop; The Heavy Hitter Group, Inc.; Vatche Kiwanian; U.S. Batta; Mission Wine & Spirits; Zahrah Tobacco LLC; and Does 1-10. Dkt. 96 ("FAC"). Plaintiff alleges six claims against all of the named defendants, namely, (1) patent infringement; (2) trademark infringement; (3) trade dress infringement; (4) common law trademark infringement; (5) counterfeiting; and (6) false designation of origin. Id.

         On May 12, 2017, defendant The Heavy Hitter Group, Inc. ("Heavy Hitter") filed an answer to the FAC. Dkt. 100. On May 30, 2017, Vatche Kiwanian and U.S. Batta jointly filed an answer to the FAC. Dkt. 101. On June 2, 2017, Heavy Hitter filed the instant motion to dismiss and sever the claims against it. Dkt. 102 ("Mot."). On June 19, 2017, plaintiff filed an opposition. Dkt. 104 ("Opp'n"). On June 26, 2017, Heavy Hitter filed a reply. Dkt. 105 ("Reply").

         Having carefully considered the parties' arguments, the Court finds and concludes as follows.

         II. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff alleges the following facts.

         Plaintiff Kirakosian developed a "small and sleek" hookah bowl that fits nearly all hookahs and delivers "the full smoking experience." FAC ¶ 25. Plaintiff branded the hookah accessory as Apple on Top ("AOT"). Id. The product is round like an apple and features "a single rubber green leaf attached to the metal bowl for "easy handling of hot coals." Id. ¶ 27. Plaintiff registered the hookah bowl with the United States Patent and Trademark office and received Patent No. D726, 366 (the '"366 Patent"). Id. "f 26. Plaintiff also registered the "AOT" word mark under Registration No. 4, 717, 006. Id. ¶ 30. In connection with its trademark registration and extensive use, plaintiff owns the AOT Trade Dress, which consists of the patented AOT product packaged in a small, clear plastic box with a red banner at the base that reads "AOT ®." Id. ¶ 32.

         Plaintiff alleges that defendants are infringing or inducing other to infringe by making, using, offering to sell, andor selling products that infringe the claims of the '366 Patent. Id. ¶ 33. The infringing products appear identical to AOT products in all material respects, including the word mark and packaging. Id. ¶ 35. Plaintiff alleges that defendants' infringement was willful and deliberate. Id¶36. Plaintiff further alleges that defendants' actions confuse and deceive consumers as to the source of the counterfeit products. Id. ¶ 37.

         III. Discussion

         A. Motion to Dismiss and Sever

         Defendant Heavy Hitter seeks to be dismissed and severed from this action because it has not been properly joined. Mot. at 2. In most civil actions, joinder of defendants is governed by a permissive rule, Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 20.

         However, Rule 20 does not govern joinder in patent cases. "[E]ffective September 16, 2011, joinder in patent cases is governed by the America Invents Act." In re Nintendo Co., 544 F.App'x 934, 939 (Fed. Cir. ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.