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Olivia Garden, Inc. v. Stance Beauty Labs, LLC

United States District Court for the Northern District of California

July 12, 2018, Decided; July 12, 2018, Filed

Case No. 17-cv-05778-HSG

Opinion

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT STANCE BEAUTY LABS, LLC'S MOTION TO DISMISS

Re: Dkt. No. 35

Pending before the Court is Defendant Stance Beauty Labs, LLC's ("Stance") motion to dismiss Plaintiff Olivia Garden, Inc.'s ("Olivia Garden") second amended complaint. See Dkt. No. 35 ("Mot."); see also Dkt. No. 29 ("SAC"). Stance filed the motion on February 14, 2018. On February 28, 2018, Plaintiff filed an opposition. Dkt. No. 37 ("Opp."). Stance replied on March 7, 2018. Dkt. No. 47 ("Reply"). After carefully considering the parties' arguments, the Court GRANTS the motion.1

I. BACKGROUND

On October 6, 2017, Olivia [*2]  Garden brought this action against Stance and Burlington Stores, Inc., asserting claims for infringement of U.S. Design Patent No. D739,660 and U.S. Design Patent No. D762,069; trade dress infringement under 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a), and unfair competition. See Dkt. No. 1 at 9-13. On January 12, 2018, Olivia Garden voluntarily dismissed with prejudice all claims against Burlington Stores, Inc. Dkt. No. 23. Olivia Garden then filed the SAC on January 31, 2018, naming as Defendants Stance and Burlington Coat Factory of Texas, Inc. ("Burlington Texas"), and asserting the same claims as raised in the initial complaint. See SAC at 9-13. Now moving to dismiss the SAC, Stance argues that venue is improper in this district under 28 U.S.C. Section 1406(a) and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(3).

II. DISCUSSION

28 U.S.C. Section 1400(b) governs venue in patent cases. That statute provides that "[a]ny civil action for patent infringement may be brought in the judicial district where the defendant resides, or where the defendant has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business." 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b). Recently, the Supreme Court clarified that "a domestic corporation 'resides' only in its State of incorporation for purposes of the patent venue statute." TC Heartland LLC v. Kraft Foods Grp. Brands LLC, 137 S. Ct. 1514, 1517, 197 L. Ed. 2d 816 (2017). In reaching that holding, the Court rejected [*3]  that Section 1400(b) incorporates the general venue statute's definition of corporate residence. See id. (citing Fourco Glass Co. v. Transmirra Products Corp., 353 U.S. 222, 226, 77 S. Ct. 787, 1 L. Ed. 2d 786 (1957)); 28 U.S.C. § 1391. Following that reasoning, the Federal Circuit in In re Cray Inc. interpreted the phrase a "regular and established place of business" to require a showing that "(1) there must be a physical place in the district; (2) it must be a regular and established place of business; and (3) it must be the place of the defendant." See 871 F.3d 1355, 1360-61 (Fed. Cir. 2017) ("Courts should be mindful of this history in applying the statute and be careful not to conflate showings that may be sufficient for other purposes, e.g., personal jurisdiction or the general venue statute, with the necessary showing to establish proper venue in patent cases.").

Here, there is no dispute that Stance is incorporated in Connecticut. See Mot. at 3; Opp. at 2. Olivia Garden also acknowledges that it lacks facts to show venue under the second prong of Section 1400(b). See Mot. at 3-4; Opp. at 2-3 (admitting that "Plaintiff presently lacks sufficient information to address" the question of whether "Stance 'has committed acts of infringement and has a regular and established place of business' in this district.'"). Rather, Plaintiff claims that the Court should exercise pendant venue over [*4]  its claims against Stance. See Opp. at 2. Plaintiff argues that judicial economy considerations favor the Court's exercise of pendent venue, as granting Stance's motion would effectively bifurcate this matter into two separate actions. See id. Plaintiff alternatively requests that the Court defer a ruling on Stance's motion, and allow it time to serve limited "venue discovery" to assess whether Stance maintains a regular and established place of business in this district. Id.

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2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 116573 *; 2018 WL 3392063

OLIVIA GARDEN, INC., Plaintiff, v. STANCE BEAUTY LABS, LLC, et al., Defendants.

CORE TERMS

venue, pendent, patent infringement, patent, infringement, place of business, regular