Civil Procedure Keyed to Mueller
Dudnikov v. Chalk & Vermilion Fine Arts, Inc.
Karen Dudnikov and Michael Meadors (plaintiffs) ran Tabber’s Temptations (TT), a fabric business, from their Colorado home. Most of their income came from sales through eBay. TT commenced an eBay auction of fabrics printed with the cartoon character Betty Boop. One design played off a work by the artist Erté. Chalk & Vermilion Fine Arts, Inc. (C&V) (defendant), as the agent for the copyright owner, SevenArts (defendant), filed a notice of claimed infringement (NOCI) with eBay, causing eBay to suspend the auction.privilege. The defendants petitioned the United States Supreme Court for certiorari. The plaintiffs offered to remove the fabric from sale if the NOCI were withdrawn. The defendants refused and threatened to sue in federal court. Before the defendants did so, the plaintiffs sued them in a federal court in Colorado, seeking a declaration of non-infringement and injunctive relief. The defendants moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. C&V was a Connecticut company incorporated in Delaware; SevenArts was based in Great Britain. The district court granted the motion. The plaintiffs appealed.
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