Sebastian Brown Productions LLC v. Muzooka Inc. et al
MEMORANDUM. Signed by Judge Sue L. Robinson on 3/30/2015. (fms)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF DELAWARE
MUZOOKA INC., SHAWN WILSON,
CHESTER ALDRIDGE, and IVORY
) Civ. No. 14-009-SLR
At Wilmington this 30th day of March, 2015, having reviewed defendants' motion
to dismiss or, alternatively, to transfer, and the papers filed in connection therewith; the
court will grant the motion to transfer (D.I. 13)1 for the reasons that follow:
1. Generally speaking, the parties to this dispute are litigating the right to use the
trademark MUZOOKA. Plaintiff Sebastian Brown Productions, LLC brought suit to
enforce its alleged right to use the MUZOOKA trademark based on its Application Serial
No. 85/420,834 filed on September 12, 2011 in connection with providing collaboration
and telecommunication access services. Defendants assert that the mark was
registered with the United States Patent and Trademark Office by defendant Ivory
Octaves, LLC on December 10, 2013, Registration No. 4,448,314, which mark has
Based on this conclusion, the remaining grounds for relief identified in
defendants' motion (D.I. 13) will not be addressed and will be deemed moot.
been used by defendant Muzooka, Inc. since at least December 2011 . Rather than file
an answer to the complaint, defendants filed the instant motion, contesting (inter a/ia)
personal jurisdiction and venue. The court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 1338.
2. Plaintiff is a California limited liability company with a principal plac13 of
business in Livermore, California. Plaintiff's principal, J. Michael Miller, also is a
resident of Livermore, California. Defendant Muzooka, Inc. is incorporated in the State
of Delaware2 and, as of January 6, 2014 (the date suit was filed), headquartered in
Walnut Creek, California. On January 6, 2014, defendant Shawn Wilson resided in
Calgary, Alberta, Canada, while defendant Chester Aldridge resided in San Hafael,
3. Plaintiff contends that the court can exert personal jurisdiction over the
individual defendants because they conduct business in Delaware, that is,
the users of muzooka.com continuously stream music content over thE~
Internet. Muzooka.com is not a passive website where users go simply
to get information; users go there to obtain a product. ... The Defendants
are advertising products (music and artists) on their website and
encouraging users to stream those products. . . . Further, users can
create an account on muzooka.com enabling them to further interact with
(D.I. 22 at 9; D.I. 23 at mJ 3-5) Plaintiff further contends that the individual deifendants,
the founders and managers of Muzooka, Inc., "are primary participants in the alleged
wrongdoing, which they intentionally target to occur in Delaware, as a jurisdiction into
According to defendants, "[o]n June 4, 2010, Muzooka was organized in
Delaware as Ivory Octaves, LLC. . . . Ivory Octaves was converted to Muzooka on
January 1, 2013 through filing of a certificate of conversion in Delaware." (D.I. 14 at 2)
which their Internet-only business extends," citing Toys "R" Us, Inc. v. Step Two, SA,
318 F.3d 446 (3d Cir. 2003). (D.I. 22at10)
4. To establish personal jurisdiction, a plaintiff must produce facts sufficient to
satisfy two requirements by a preponderance of the evidence, one statutory and one
constitutional. See Time Share Vacation Club v. Atlantic Resorts, Ltd., 735 F.2d 61, 66
(3d Cir. 1984). With respect to the statutory requirement, the court must determine
whether there is a statutory basis for jurisdiction under the forum state's long-arm
statute. The constitutional basis requires the court to determine whether thei exercise of
jurisdiction comports with the defendant's right to due process. See Int'/ Shoe Co. v.
Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945).
5. Delaware's long-arm statute is codified as 1O Del. C. § 3104(c) and allows a
court to exercise personal jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant when said
defendant or its agent: (1) transacts any business or performs any characteff of work or
service in Delaware; (2) contracts to supply services or things in Delaware; (3) causes
tortious injury in Delaware by an act or omission in Delaware; or (4) causes tortious
injury by an act or omission outside Delaware if the defendant regularly doe's or solicits
business or engages in any other persistent course of conduct in Delaware., or derives
substantial revenue from services or things used or consumed in Delaware. 10 Del. C.
§§ (c)(1) - (4). With the exception of§ (c)(4), the long-arm statute requires a showing of
specific jurisdiction. See Shoemaker v. McConnell, 556 F. Supp. 2d 351, 354 (D. Del.
2008). Subsection (4) confers general jurisdiction, which requires a greater number of
contacts, but allows the exercise of personal jurisdiction even when the claim is
unrelated to the forum contacts. See Applied Biosystems, Inc. v. Cruachem, Ltd., 772
F. Supp. 1458, 1466 (D. Del. 1991).
6. If a defendant is found to be within the reach of the long-arm statute, the
court must then analyze whether the exercise of personal jurisdiction compmts with due
process, i.e., whether plaintiff has demonstrated that the defendant "purposefully
avail[ed] itself of the privilege of conducting activities within the forum State," so that it
should "reasonably anticipate being haled into court there." World-Wide Vol'
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