PHILADELPHIA – Per order of a federal judge, a patent infringement lawsuit between a pair of 3-D signage companies and a trio of foreign defendants is being transferred to U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida.
In April 2015, LogoPaint submitted a bid to supply Traffic Sports with its patented “3-D CamCarpets” for use in the 2015 Gold Cup, a tournament contested in the Conference of North, Central America and Caribbean Football (CONCACAF).
3-D CamCarpets allow two-dimensional printed advertising images to appear three-dimensional when seen on television. The patent number for the 3-D CamCarpets is Patent No. 8,261,475 (the 475 patent).
LogoPaint had previously licensed the 475 patent to 3-D Sport, but only for use throughout Europe. 3-D Sport then submitted a competing bid to supply Traffic Sports with 3-D advertising carpets for the Gold Cup, and on July 7, Traffic Sports awarded 3-D Sport the contract “to supply 3-D advertising carpets to the various games” of the Gold Cup. LogoPaint alleges these goods infringe its 475 patent.
LogoPaint contends that 3-D Sport directly infringed the 475 patent when it “made…sold, offered for sale, and/or imported into the United States, including this Judicial District, 3-D advertising carpets” and further contends the defendants induced and contributed to the infringement of the 475 patent by taking actions that encouraged and facilitated the infringement. LogoPaint filed its complaint on Aug. 27, and the defendants filed their motion to transfer venue on Oct. 21.
According to the suit, LogoPaint is a Danish corporation with its principal place of business in Vejle, Denmark. Traffic Sports is incorporated in Florida with its principal place of business in Miami, Florida. 3-D Sport is a Spanish corporation with its principal place of business in Barcelona, Spain. The individual defendants, as officers of 3-D Sport, are employed in the company’s Barcelona office.
Judge Gerald J. Pappert said his objective in deciding whether to transfer the action became which location would provide the most effective process and best serve the interest of justice.
“In patent infringement cases, venue is proper 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,” Pappert said.
“Thus, the Southern District of Florida is an appropriate venue as it relates to Traffic Sports – which LogoPaint does not dispute. For the remaining foreign defendants, venue is proper in any district court assuming they are subject to personal jurisdiction in that forum. LogoPaint contends that the Southern District of Florida lacks personal jurisdiction over the remaining foreign Defendants, rendering that venue inappropriate.”
Pappert decided Florida’s long-arm statute conferred jurisdiction over the foreign defendants (3-D Sport and its officers), since the defendants negotiated the bid and sold the infringing products to Traffic Sports at its office in Miami.
It was then Pappert’s duty to consider the Jumara factors, or the public and private factors which are weighed to determine whether a transfer of suit is or is not in the best interest of the subject litigation.
“LogoPaint fails to allege any facts supporting the contention that the infringing goods were developed, tested, researched and produced in this District,” Pappert said. “Defendants argue – and LogoPaint does not contest – that the infringing products were developed by 3-D Sport in Spain. Moreover, the marketing and sales decisions between 3-D Sport and Traffic Sports were made in Florida.”
Pappert said private-interest factors weighed in favor of transfer, as did the public factors, overall.
“Between Pennsylvania and Florida, however, the most practical location to hold the trial would be the Southern District of Florida. Traffic Sports, its employees and the documentary evidence relevant to LogoPaint’s claims are located in Miami,” Pappert said.
Pappert concluded the case being transferred to federal court in Florida would be more convenient for the parties involved, private interests and public interests of the federal court system.
“The Southern District of Florida is where ‘the litigation would more conveniently proceed and the interests of justice be better served.’ This case is accordingly transferred to that District,” Pappert said.
The plaintiff is represented by Frederick A. Tecce of Pantich Schwarze Belisario & Nadel in Philadelphia, plus Eric H. Weisblatt and Scott A. Felder of Wiley Rein, in Washington, D.C.
The defendant is represented by Ethan Horwitz of Carlton Fields Jorden Burt in New York City and Tracy Zurzolo Quinn of Reed Smith, in Philadelphia.
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania case 2:15-cv-04865
From the Pennsylvania Record: Reach Courts Reporter Nicholas Malfitano at email@example.com