Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Schwanger v. Munchkin

October 7, 1999

DEBRA A. SCHWANGER, DANIEL J. SCHWANGER, LORI A. ROTH AND DAVID J. ROTH, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
MUNCHKIN, INC., WAL-MART, AND MEIJER, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



Before Plager, Schall, and Gajarsa, Circuit Judges.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Per Curiam.

DECISION

Schwanger et al. ("Schwanger") seek review of the decision of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio. See Schwanger v. Munchkin, No. 3:97 CV 7009 (N.D. Ohio, Sept. 18, 1998). The district court granted Munchkin's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. That judgment was entered upon defendant's motion brought pursuant to Rule 12(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. We reverse the decision of the district court and remand for further proceedings.

BACKGROUND

The district court issued its ruling based upon the following relevant facts. *fn1 Munchkin is a corporation incorporated under the laws of the state of California with its principal place of business in California. Munchkin has manufactured and sold medicine dispensers for baby bottles, the dispensers being covered by Munchkin's Patent No. 5,542,922 (the `922 patent) which issued August 6, 1996 on an application filed November 4, 1994. In 1995 and 1996, Munchkin sold its dispenser to retailers, Defendants Meijer and Wal-Mart, Inc., for resale in stores throughout the United States.

While all Munchkin activities pertaining to the sale of the medicine dispensers occurred in California, both Wal-Mart and Meijer sold Munchkin's dispensers in Ohio. Munchkin's dispenser was displayed in Wal-Mart and Meijer stores in packaging bearing Munchkin's tradename and providing a nationwide toll-free number for consumer questions. Sales records for 1995 indicate Munchkin sales to Wal-Mart totaling $68,539. No record of Munchkin's sales to Defendant Meijer nor sales for other years are provided.

Munchkin has no office, employees, telephone numbers, assets or bank accounts in Ohio, and has had no other contact, direct or indirect, with the state.

Plaintiffs, residents of Ohio, are co-inventors of a medicine dispenser for baby bottles. Their Patent No. 5,029,701 (the `701 patent) issued July 9, 1991 on an application filed May 7, 1990.

On January 8, 1997, Schwanger brought suit against Munchkin, Meijer, and Wal-Mart in the Federal District Court for the Northern District of Ohio, alleging that Munchkin's medicine dispenser infringed Schwanger's patent. Munchkin moved to dismiss or transfer the action on the ground that the District Court lacked in personam jurisdiction over it, that venue was improper, and on forum non conveniens grounds. In response, Plaintiffs' filed, inter alia, a request for an evidentiary hearing on Munchkin's motion.

The district court granted Munchkin's motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction while denying Plaintiffs' evidentiary hearing request, reasoning that:

1) Ohio's long-arm statute was not met due to Plaintiffs' failure to identify any Munchkin negotiations or business dealings directly related to Ohio or any acts or omissions committed by Munchkin within the state; and

2) even if Ohio's long-arm statutory requirements had been met, the Sixth Circuit's test for determining whether the exercise of personal jurisdiction met due process requirements would not be met due to Plaintiffs' failure to identify any act committed by Munchkin which could conceivably constitute purposeful availment of the privilege of acting in the state of Ohio.

DISCUSSION

A. Standard of ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.