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Columbia Sportswear North America, Inc. v. Seirus Innovative Accessories

United States District Court, D. Oregon

June 29, 2015

COLUMBIA SPORTSWEAR NORTH AMERICA, INC., an Oregon corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
SEIRUS INNOVATIVE ACCESSORIES, a Utah corporation, Defendant.

Devon Zastrow Newman, David W. Axelrod, Schwabe Williamson & Wyatt, PC, Portland, OR, Attorneys for Plaintiff.

Eric M. Jaegers, Troutman Sanders LLP, San Diego, CA.

Matthew D. Murphey, Troutman Sanders LLP, Irvine, CA.

Paul E. McGowan, Troutman Sanders LLP, Atlanta, GA.

Lisa D. Hardie, Troutman Sanders LLC, Portland, OR, Attorneys for Defendant.

OPINION & ORDER

MARCO A. HERNNDEZ, District Judge.

Plaintiff, Columbia Sportswear North America, Inc. ("Columbia"), alleges that Defendant Seirus Innovative Accessories, Inc. ("Seirus"), a Utah corporation with a principal place of business in California, has infringed Columbia's patents related to a heat reflective lining for outdoor sporting gear. Currently before the Court is Seirus's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, or alternatively, to transfer venue to the Southern District of California. The Court has personal jurisdiction over Seirus because it intentionally targeted the forum by selling allegedly infringing products directly to Oregon retailers. Also, since the multi-factor analysis which guides the Court's decision to transfer venue is essentially balanced between the parties, the Court defers to Columbia's choice of venue. Accordingly, Seirus's motion is denied.

BACKGROUND

Columbia is a Portland, Oregon based outdoor company with more than $2.1 billion in global annual sales. Plaintiff's Response to Motion to Dismiss/Transfer Venue ("Pl. Resp.") at 3. Columbia owns and controls U.S. Patent Nos. D657, 093 ("093 patent"), 8, 424, 119 ("119 patent), and 8, 453, 270 ("270 patent"). Complaint ("Compl.") ¶ 2. Collectively, those patents protect Columbia's Omni-Heat technology, a heat reflective material that retains body heat but allows for breathability and moisture wicking. Compl. ¶ 2. The Omni-Heat material is used as a lining in a variety of outdoor gear such as jackets, shirts, gloves, and more. Compl. ¶ 2.

Seirus is a Utah corporation with a principal place of business in Poway, California. Compl. ¶ 5. Seirus sells its own brand of cold weather gear, including gloves and glove liners with a breathable, heat reflective material it calls HEATWAVE. Compl. ¶¶ 20-21. Columbia alleges that Seirus's HEATWAVE product infringes its Omni-Heat patents, and that Columbia purchased gloves featuring Seirus's HEATWAVE product at various stores in Oregon. Complat ¶¶ 25, 26-47.

Before it could substantiate Seirus's products were available for purchase in Oregon, Columbia filed a patent infringement action against Seirus in December, 2013, in the Western District of Washington. Compl. ¶ 9. Seirus filed a similar motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction because, it argued, it lacked any meaningful contacts with the forum. Defendant's Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss ("Def. Memo."), at 8. Columbia sought leave to conduct jurisdictional discovery, but the court denied the motion and ordered Columbia to respond to Seirus's motion to dismiss or transfer venue. Compl. ¶ 13. In the interim, Columbia confirmed that Seirus's HEATWAVE products were available in Oregon. Compl. ¶ 12. Since Seirus had yet to file an answer in the Washington case, Columbia promptly filed a notice of dismissal under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure ("Rule") 41(a), and subsequently filed the instant action in the District of Oregon. Compl. ¶ 15-16.

Seirus now moves to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction because it lacks the "minimum contacts" with Oregon required to support a constitutional exercise of this Court's personal jurisdiction over it. Alternatively, Seirus seeks to transfer this case to the Southern District of California because it is a more convenient forum.

STANDARDS

I. Personal ...


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