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Coach, Inc. v. TB Nails Product, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Texas, Dallas Division

March 30, 2018

COACH, INC., ET AL., Plaintiffs,
v.
TB NAILS PRODUCT, INC., ET AL., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          A. JOE FISH, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the court is the motion of the defendants TB Nails Product, Inc. (“TB Nails”) and Gio Van Tran (“Van Tran”) to dismiss the plaintiffs' claims against them for lack of personal jurisdiction (docket entry 11). For the reasons set forth below, the motion is denied.

         I. BACKGROUND

         Plaintiff Coach, Inc., is a Maryland corporation with its principal place of business in New York, New York. Complaint ¶ 5 (docket entry 1). Plaintiff Coach Services, Inc., is a Maryland corporation with its principal place of business in Jacksonville, Florida. Id. ¶ 6.

         TB Nails, a California corporation and previously a wholesale supply business, is no longer doing business. Id. ¶ 7; Opposed Motion to Dismiss Under Rule 12(b)(2) (“Motion”) ¶¶ 1, 2 (docket entry 11).

         Tran, a California resident, is the president, chief executive officer, and sole shareholder of TB Nails. Complaint ¶ 8; Motion ¶¶ 1, 3; Affidavit in Support of Motion to Dismiss Under Rule 12(b)(2) (“Tran Affidavit”) at 1, attached as Exhibit A to Motion.

         Coach, Inc., and Coach Services, Inc., (collectively, “Coach”) manufacture, market, and sell fine leather and mixed material goods. Complaint ¶ 10. Coach sells its goods throughout the United States, including in Texas. Id. Coach holds many trademarks registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Id. ¶¶ 17-19. Additionally, Coach asserts that is “has been the sole owner and proprietor of all rights, title, and interest in and to the copyrights in the Coach Design Elements used on Coach Products, and such copyrights are valid, subsisting and in full force and effect.” Id. ¶ 30.

         On December 23, 2015, Joel Voyles (“Voyles”), an undercover investigator hired by Coach, entered A-1 Beauty & Nails Warehouse (“Nails Warehouse”), identified as “Nails Warehouse” by signage, located at 9780 Walnut Street, Suite Number 240, in Dallas, Texas, to purchase items bearing Coach trademarks. Complaint ¶ 32; Appendix in Support of Plaintiffs' Response to Defendants' Opposed Motion to Dismiss Under Rule 12(b)(2) (“Appendix”) at App. 17, 19. Voyles saw five sets of Coach trademarked nail tips for sale and purchased one set. Complaint ¶ 32; Appendix at App. 19-22. Thereafter, he determined the set was counterfeit and infringed on Coach's intellectual property. Complaint ¶ 32. Coach does not manufacture nail tips. Appendix at App. 23. Coach contends that the defendants sold these counterfeit products to Nails Warehouse. Complaint ¶ 33; Plaintiffs' Response to Defendants' Unopposed Motion to Dismiss Under Rule 12(b)(2) (“Response”) at 2-3 (docket entry 22).

         Coach subsequently brought this action against TB Nails and Van Tran for trademark counterfeiting, trademark infringement, trade dress infringement, false designation of origin and false advertising, trademark dilution, copyright infringement, unfair competition, and unjust enrichment. See generally Complaint. The defendants move to dismiss Coach's claims against them for lack of personal jurisdiction. See generally Motion.

         II. ANALYSIS

         A. The Factual Standard: A Prima Facie Case

         When a nonresident defendant moves to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing the district court's jurisdiction over the nonresident. Wilson v. Belin, 20 F.3d 644, 648 (5th Cir.), cert. denied, 513 U.S. 930 (1994); Gardemal v. Westin Hotel Company, 186 F.3d 588, 592 (5th Cir. 1999). If the district court chooses to decide the matter without an evidentiary hearing, the plaintiff may meet its burden by presenting a prima facie case for personal jurisdiction. Wilson, 20 F.3d at 648; Gardemal, 186 F.3d at 592.

         The court will take the allegations of the complaint as true, except where they are controverted by opposing affidavits, and all conflicts in the facts are resolved in favor of the plaintiff. Wilson, 20 F.3d at 648; Gardemal, 186 F.3d at 592. In making its determination, the court may consider affidavits, interrogatories, depositions, oral testimony, or any combination of recognized discovery methods. Allred v. Moore & Peterson, 117 F.3d 278, 281 (5th Cir. 1997), cert. denied, 522 U.S. 1048 (1998); Thompson v. Chrysler Motors Corporation, 755 F.2d 1162, 1165 (5th Cir. 1985).

         B. The ...


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