Coach, Inc. et al v. Diana Fashion et al

Filing 18

ORDER by Judge Samuel Conti denying 14 Motion for Default Judgment (sclc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/13/2011)

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1 2 3 4 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 6 7 8 10 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 9 11 12 13 14 COACH, INC.; COACH SERVICES, INC., ) Case No. 11-2315 SC ) Plaintiffs, ) ORDER DENYING APPLICATION ) FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT v. ) ) DIANA FASHION, an unknown business ) entity; DIANE DAO, an individual; ) and DOES 1-10, inclusive, ) ) Defendants. ) ) ) 15 16 I. INTRODUCTION 17 Plaintiffs Coach, Incorporated ("Coach") and Coach Services, 18 Incorporated ("Coach Services") (collectively, "Plaintiffs") seek 19 entry of Default Judgment against Defendants Diana Fashion and 20 Diane Dao (collectively, "Defendants"). 21 Default J."). 22 concludes that entry of Default Judgment against Defendants is 23 inappropriate and DENIES Plaintiffs' Application without prejudice. ECF No. 14 ("App. for Having considered the papers submitted, the Court 24 25 26 27 28 II. BACKGROUND The following allegations are taken from Plaintiffs' Complaint. Coach Services is a wholly owned subsidiary of Coach, a 1 Maryland corporation with its principal place of business in 2 Jacksonville, Florida. 3 manufactures, markets, and sells fine leather and mixed material 4 products, including handbags, wallets, and accessories. 5 Coach owns the "COACH" trademark and various composite trademarks 6 and assorted components (collectively, "Coach Marks"). 7 Additionally, Coach owns various copyright registrations, including 8 the Horse and Carriage Mark and the Op Art Mark. ECF No. 1 ("Compl.") ¶ 5. Coach Id. ¶ 10. Id. ¶ 11. Id. ¶ 13. Plaintiffs allege that counterfeit Coach branded products were 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 sold and purchased from Defendant Diana Fashion, an unknown 11 business entity operating out of San Jose California. 12 18. 13 owner of Diana Fashion and "is the active moving, and conscious 14 force" behind Diana Fashion's infringing activities. Id. ¶¶ 6, Plaintiffs further allege that Defendant Diane Dao is the Id. ¶ 21. 15 Plaintiffs bring claims for: (1) trademark counterfeiting; (2) 16 federal trademark infringement; (3) false designation of origin and 17 false advertising; (4) federal trademark dilution; (5) trademark 18 dilution in violation of the California Business and Professions 19 Code; (6) common law unfair competition; and (7) copyright 20 infringement. 21 award of Defendants' profits and all damages sustained by 22 Plaintiffs as a result of Defendants' illicit acts, treble damages 23 pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 1117(b), and interest, costs, and attorney's 24 fees. 25 26 Id. ¶¶ 23-87. Plaintiffs seek injunctive relief, an Id. at 16-17. "Diana Dao" was personally served with a summons in this action on June 2, 2011. ECF Nos. 7 (Proof of Service for Diana 27 28 2 1 Fashion),1 8 ("Proof of Service for Diana Dao"). 2 whether the wrong person was served or the process server merely 3 misspelled Defendant Diane Dao's name. 4 indication in the Proof of Service that a copy of the Complaint was 5 served. 6 the Complaint, the clerk of the court entered default on July 1, 7 2011. 8 default judgment. It is unclear In any event, there is no After Defendants failed to answer or otherwise respond to ECF No. 13 ("Entry of Default"). Plaintiffs now apply for 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 III. LEGAL STANDARD After entry of a default, the Court may enter a default 11 12 judgment. 13 so, while "discretionary," Aldabe v. Aldabe, 616 F.2d 1089, 1092 14 (9th Cir. 1980), is guided by several factors. 15 matter, the Court must "assess the adequacy of the service of 16 process on the party against whom default is requested." 17 Trs. of the N. Cal. Sheet Metal Workers v. Peters, No. 00-0395, 18 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19065, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 2, 2001). 19 the Court determines that service was sufficient, it should 20 consider whether the following factors support the entry of default 21 judgment: (1) the possibility of prejudice to the plaintiff; (2) 22 the merits of plaintiff's substantive claim; (3) the sufficiency of 23 the complaint; (4) the sum of money at stake in the action; (5) the 24 possibility of a dispute concerning material facts; (6) whether the 25 default was due to excusable neglect; and (7) the strong policy 26 underlying the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure favoring decisions 27 28 Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(b)(2). 1 Its decision whether to do As a preliminary Bd. of If According to the Proof of Service, Diana Dao is designated by law to accept service of process on behalf of Diana Fashion. 3 1 on the merits. 2 Eitel v. McCool, 782 F.2d 1470, 1471-72 (9th Cir. 1986). 3 4 IV. DISCUSSION Entry of default judgment is inappropriate because service of 5 Civil Procedure 4(c)(1) provides that "[a] summons must be served 8 with a copy of the complaint." 9 of the full complaint constitutes ineffective service of process. 10 United States District Court process on Defendants appears to be defective. 7 For the Northern District of California 6 Federal Rule of See W. Coast Theater Corp. v. Portland, 897 F.2d 1519, 1529 (9th 11 Cir. 1990); see also Albra v. Advan, Inc., 490 F.3d 826, 829 (11th 12 Cir. 2007). Service of a summons without a copy Here, Plaintiffs' Proof of Service indicates that the summons 13 14 was served on "Diana Dao," as opposed to Defendant Diane Dao, on 15 June 2, 2011. 16 served or that a copy of the Complaint was included in the service. 17 Because Plaintiffs appear to have failed to serve the Complaint on 18 Defendants in accordance with Rule 4, Plaintiffs' Application for 19 Default Judgment is denied without prejudice. There is no indication that Defendant Diane Dao was 20 21 V. CONCLUSION 22 For the reasons stated above, the Court DENIES Plaintiffs 23 Coach, Incorporated and Coach Services, Incorporated's Application 24 for Default Judgment and VACATES the Clerk's Entry of Default. 25 Court will reconsider its ruling if, within fifteen (15) days of 26 this Order, Plaintiffs file a corrected Proof of Service showing 27 that Defendants were properly served on June 2, 2011, along with a 28 4 The 1 declaratio verify on ying the correcte Proof of Servi ed ice and d describin ng 2 he g relative to the o original Proof of Service f e. th filing error r 3 If Pl laintiffs are una s able to d demonstra ate that Defendan nts were 4 in fact pr n roperly s served on June 2, 2011, t n then Plai intiffs s shall hav ve 5 th hirty (30) days f from the date of this Ord der to ef ffect pro oper 6 service on Defenda n ants. 7 or try of de efault if Defenda f ants fail to time l ely respo ond to a fo an ent 8 pr roperly served co s omplaint. 9 re-file an applica n ation for default judgmen with p r t nt proof of proper United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 Pl laintiffs may the re-fil an app s en le plication n If def fault is entered, Plainti , iffs may service. 11 12 13 IT IS SO ORDE S ERED. 14 15 16 d: er 011 Dated Octobe 12, 20 UNITED ST U TATES DIS STRICT JU UDGE 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 5

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