United States District Court, S.D. Florida
ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO DISMISS
N. Scola, Jr. United States District Judge.
Plaintiff brings this lawsuit against Lone Wolf Distributors,
Inc. and Lone Wolf R&D LLC (collectively, “Lone
Wolf” or “Defendants”) for patent
infringement. This matter is before the Court on the
Defendants' Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Venue, or in
the Alternative to Transfer Venue (ECF No. 13). For the
reasons set forth in this Order, the Court grants in
part the motion and orders the case
transferred to the District of Idaho.
Plaintiff, Patent Holder, LLC (“Patent Holder” or
“Plaintiff”), is a Florida company with an
address in Miami. (Compl. ¶ 2, ECF No. 1.) The Plaintiff
owns United States Patent No. 9, 404, 700 (the
“‘700 Patent”). (Id. ¶ 10.)
The Defendants are legally organized under the laws of Idaho
with principal places of business in Priest River, Idaho.
(Id. ¶¶ 3-4.)
The ‘700 Patent and Alleged Infringement
‘700 Patent is a patent for an Enhanced Trigger Control
Connector. (Id. ¶ 11.) The Enhanced Trigger
Control Connector improves a firearm's trigger by
limiting “excess travel” of the trigger and by
minimizing “trigger bar obstruction.”
(Id. ¶¶ 14-15.) Images of the Enhanced
Trigger Control Connector and its relationship to a
firearm's trigger are included here:
at Ex. 2, p. 5, ECF No. 1-2.)
‘700 Patent was assigned to the Plaintiff by the named
inventor, Arthur Viani. (Id. ¶¶ 11-12.)
Ghost, Inc., a business in Miami, Florida, manufactures,
distributes, and sells the Enhanced Trigger Control Connector
protected by the ‘700 Patent. (Id. ¶ 13.)
Defendants also manufacture, distribute, and sell gun parts
and accessories. (Id. ¶ 16.) The Defendants
manufacture and sell an enhanced trigger control connector
that allegedly infringes the ‘700 Patent. (Id.
¶¶ 17-18, 21-22.) Exhibit Two of the Complaint
provides the following comparison of the prior art, the
Enhanced Trigger Control Connector, and the product sold by
the Defendants under the name “LWD-342-4243, LWD G42/43
at Ex. 2, p. 1, ECF No. 1-2.)
Plaintiff alleges that the Defendants are aware of the
‘700 Patent and their product's alleged
infringement and continue to manufacture and sell the
“LWD-342-4243, LWD G42/43 3.5 Connector” without
the Plaintiff's authorization. (Id. ¶¶
20-25.) According to the Complaint, the Plaintiff has offered
for sale and sold the “LWD-342-4243, LWD G42/43 3.5
Connector” in this District despite its knowledge of
the alleged infringing nature of those actions. (Id.
¶ 24.) Accordingly, the Plaintiff brings one count of
patent infringement against the Defendants, seeking damages,
attorneys' fees, costs, and further relief under 35
U.S.C. § 271. (Id. ¶¶ 27-32, A-I.)
Lone Wolf's Business and Contacts with the Forum
Wolf Distributors, Inc. and Lone Wolf R&D LLC are
incorporated in Idaho and headquartered in Priest River,
Idaho. (Id. ¶¶ 3-4; Decl. of Daniel
Shepard, Jr. ¶ 4, ECF No. 13-1.) Lone Wolf manufactures
and distributes its products solely from that location.
(See id. ¶¶ 4-9.) Lone Wolf sells directly
to its customers from its website and does not employ sales
agents or employees outside of Idaho. (Id. ¶
8.) Lone Wolf is not licensed to do business in Florida and
is not registered as a foreign corporation with the state.
(Id. ¶ 7.) Neither Lone Wolf nor any of its
employees maintains a physical location in Florida.
(Id. ¶¶ 5-6.)
to Patent Holder, Lone Wolf has several contacts with the
Southern District of Florida. Lone Wolf allegedly derives
revenue from products sold in this District. (Compl. ¶
6, ECF No. 1.) In support of this allegation, Patent Holder
attaches an invoice of purchases that Ghost, Inc. made from
Lone Wolf for delivery into this District as well as
photographs of the received goods ordered by Ghost, Inc. from
Lone Wolf. (Id. at Ex. 1, pp. 5-9, ECF No. 1-1.)
Patent Holder also claims that dealers in this District sell
infringing products manufactured by Lone Wolf. (Resp. at 3.)
Patent Holder provides no evidence to support this claim.
Patent Holder alleges that Lone Wolf directly infringes on
its patents in this District. (Compl. ¶ 23, ECF No. 1.)
of filing a responsive pleading, Lone Wolf moved to dismiss
this action for improper venue or, in the alternative, for a
transfer of venue to the District of Idaho under 28 U.S.C.
§ 1404(a). (ECF No. 13). In support, Lone Wolf attached
a declaration from Daniel Shepard, Jr., the president and
owner of Lone Wolf Distributors, Inc. and the Managing Member
and owner of Lone Wolf R&D, LLC. (ECF No. 13-1.) Shepard
declares under penalty of perjury that Lone Wolf maintains no
physical location in Florida and that it would be
inconvenient for the two small Idaho entities to litigate the
dispute in this District. (Id.) Patent Holder
responded, addressing the inconvenience of this venue issue,
but not the Defendants' arguments that venue is improper.
(See ECF No. 14) (addressing which venue is
“more convenient” under 28 U.S.C. § 1404 but
failing to reference 28 U.S.C. § 1400(b).) In support of
its motion, Patent Holder attached a printout of Lone
Wolf's website but did not submit any declaration or
affidavit to contradict the positions taken by Mr. Shepard.
(See, generally, Resp. at 1-12, ECF Nos. 14, 14-1.)
Patent Holder explicitly requested “specific factual
and legal findings as to venue[, ] . . . ...