MD District Court Dismisses Patent Infringement Action for Improper Venue

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Defendant Dan’s Fan City, Inc. moved to dismiss a patent infringement suit on the ground that Maryland was not a proper venue for the action.  The defendant’s only connection with Maryland was an oral agreement with a Rockville, Maryland distributor pursuant which the defendant granted the distributor the right to use “Dan’s Fan City” in its store name, on the condition that the distributor’s inventory consist mostly of defendant’s products.  U.S. District Court Judge Paul W. Grimm granted the defendant’s motion to dismiss, finding that the defendant neither resided in Maryland under the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2017 TC Heartland decision nor had a regular and established place of business in Maryland.  In support of his decision, Judge Grimm noted that the distributor was a separately owned entity with its own corporate identity that operated wholly independently of any ownership or control by the defendant.  Delta T, LLC v. Dan’s Fan City, Inc., Case No. 8:18-cv-03858-PWG, 2019 WL 3220287 (D. Md. July 17, 2019).