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J.M. Smucker Co. v. Promotion in Motion, Inc.

United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio

November 7, 2019, Decided; November 7, 2019, Filed

Case No. 5:19cv1116

Opinion

 [*649]  MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Currently pending is Defendant Promotion in Motion's Motion to Dismiss Amended Complaint. (Doc. No. 14.) Plaintiff  [*650]  J.M. Smucker Company filed a Brief in Opposition (Doc. No.17), to which Defendant responded (Doc. No. 18.) For the following reasons, Defendant's Motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART, as follows. Defendant's Motion to Dismiss is denied to the extent it seeks dismissal based on the lack of personal jurisdiction, but is granted on the basis of the anticipatory action exception to the first-to-file rule.

I. Procedural History

On May 17, 2019, Plaintiff J.M. Smucker Company (hereinafter "Plaintiff" or "Smucker") filed a Complaint in this Court against Defendant Promotion in Motion (hereinafter "Defendant" or "PIM") seeking a declaratory judgment that its use of the phrase [**2]  "Fruit is Our 1st Ingredient" did not infringe on any rights of Defendant. (Doc. No. 1.) PIM filed a Motion to Dismiss on June 17, 2019, arguing that Smucker's Complaint should be dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction and because it constitutes an anticipatory action designed to deprive PIM of its choice of forum. (Doc. No. 9.)

On July 8, 2019, Smucker filed an Amended Complaint, which added an alternative claim for trademark infringement and unfair competition. (Doc. No. 12.) Pursuant to Stipulation of the parties, PIM's Motion to Dismiss was denied as moot. See Non-Document Order dated July 19, 2019.

PIM filed a second Motion to Dismiss shortly thereafter, on July 22, 2019. (Doc. No. 14.) Therein, PIM again argues that the instant case should be dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction and because it constitutes an anticipatory action designed to deprive PIM of its choice of forum. (Id.) PIM further asserts that Smucker's trademark infringement claim should be dismissed for failure to state a claim under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(6). Smucker filed a Brief in Opposition on August 14, 2019 (Doc. No. 17), to which PIM responded on August 28, 2019 (Doc. No. 18.)

II. Factual Allegations

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420 F. Supp. 3d 646 *; 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 193896 **; 2019 U.S.P.Q.2D (BNA) 429168; 2019 WL 5802663

J.M. Smucker Company, Plaintiff, -vs- Promotion in Motion, Inc., Defendant

CORE TERMS

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