United States District Court, D. Arizona
A. TEIILBORG, SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is Defendant Juggernaut Nutrition, LLC's
(“Defendant”) Motion to Dismiss the First Amended
Complaint. (Doc. 23). Plaintiff Nutrition Distribution, LLC
has responded, (Doc. 25), and Defendant has replied, (Doc.
an Arizona limited liability company, and Defendant, a
Florida limited liability company, are competitors in the
dietary supplement market. (Doc. 17 at 1-2). Defendant sells
products that contain the chemical DMAA. (Id. at 2).
Plaintiff sells a similar product that does not contain DMAA
that was specifically designed “to fill the market void
left by the eventual absence of soon-to-be illegal
DMAA.” (Id. at 3-4). In 2012, the FDA sent
warning letters to manufacturers whose products contained
DMAA “questioning DMAA's safety and challenging
[the manufacturers'] claims that the ingredient even
qualifies as a dietary supplement.” (Id.)
Following receipt of this letter, usage of DMAA receded,
which allowed Plaintiff's DMAA-free product to obtain
commercial success. (Id.) In 2016, however, DMAA
returned to the market, which has, according to Plaintiff,
negatively affected Plaintiff's business. (Id.)
contends that DMAA is a dangerous and illegal chemical and
that Defendant has engaged in false advertising under the
Lanham Act by: (1) not disclosing the adverse health effects
of DMAA; (2) implying that DMAA is a naturally occurring
chemical; and (3) not disclosing that numerous professional
sports associations have banned DMAA, which is particularly
egregious in light of Defendants' practice of marketing
its products to athletes who compete in competitions run by
those associations. (Id. at 2-3). By doing so,
Plaintiff argues, Defendant has lured consumers who would
otherwise buy Plaintiff's products if they were aware of
the material misstatements and omissions in Defendant's
advertising, which has harmed Plaintiff's business.
(Id. at 9). Defendant has moved to dismiss
Plaintiff's suit for lack of personal jurisdiction. (Doc.
a federal court has personal jurisdiction over non-resident
domestic defendants to the extent allowed by the state in
which the court sits. Fed.R.Civ.P. 4(e), (k); Walden v.
Fiore, 134 S.Ct. 1115, 1121 (2014). Arizona law provides
for personal jurisdiction to the extent allowed by the
Constitution of the United States. See Ariz. R. Civ.
P. 4.2. The Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment
limits a state's power to grant personal jurisdiction
over a defendant to a tribunal. Goodyear Dunlop Tires
Operations, S.A. v. Brown, 564 U.S. 915, 923 (2011).
process requires that a defendant “have certain minimum
contacts with . . . [the forum] such that the maintenance of
the suit does not offend ‘traditional notions of fair
play and substantial justice.'” Int'l Shoe
Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945) (quoting
Milliken v. Meyer, 311 U.S. 457, 463 (1940)). This
minimum contacts framework gives rise to two forms of
jurisdiction: general jurisdiction and specific jurisdiction.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. v. Superior Ct. of Cal., S.F.
Cty., 137 S.Ct. 1773, 1779-80 (2017). Under specific
jurisdiction, a court can hear claims related to a
defendant's voluntary in-state activities. Id.
at 1780. Under general jurisdiction, a court can hear any
claim against a defendant who can be “fairly regarded
as at home” in the state. Goodyear, 564 U.S.
defendant moves to dismiss a case for lack of personal
jurisdiction, the plaintiff bears the burden of establishing
personal jurisdiction. Dole Food Co., Inc. v. Watts,
303 F.3d 1104, 1108 (9th Cir. 2002). Where a court resolves
the issue of personal jurisdiction solely by reference to the
parties' moving papers and filed documents, a plaintiff
satisfies this burden by making “only a prima facie
showing of jurisdictional facts to withstand the motion to
dismiss.” Pebble Beach Co. v. Caddy, 453 F.3d
1151, 1154 (9th Cir. 2006) (quoting Doe v. Unocal,
248 F.3d 915, 922 (9th Cir. 2011)). In such a case,
uncontroverted statements in the plaintiff's complaint
are taken as true, and conflicts between facts contained in
affidavits are resolved in the plaintiff's favor.
Schwarzenegger v. Fred Martin Motor Co., 374 F.3d
797, 800 (9th Cir. 2004).
does not argue that Defendant is subject to general
jurisdiction in Arizona, (Doc. 25); accordingly, the Court
will only consider Plaintiff's contention that Defendant
is subject to specific jurisdiction.
specific jurisdiction inquiry “focuses on ‘the
relationship among the defendant, the forum, and the
litigation.'” Walden, 134 S.Ct. at 1121
(quoting Keeton v. Hustler Magazine, Inc., 465 U.S.
770, 775 (1984)). This analysis is concerned with the
defendant's contact-rather than a third party's-with
the forum state itself, rather than with a person who resides
there. Id. at 1122. Therefore, a defendant's
mere contact with a plaintiff, without more, is insufficient
to support specific jurisdiction. Id. at 1223.
minimum contacts sufficient to support specific jurisdiction
exist where: “(1) the defendant has performed some act
or consummated some transaction within the forum or otherwise
purposefully availed himself of the privileges of conducting
activities in the forum, (2) the claim arises out of or
results from defendant's forum-related activities, and
(3) the exercise of jurisdiction is reasonable.”
Pebble Beach Co. v. Caddy, 453 F.3d 1151, 1155 (9th
Cir. 2006) (quoting Bancroft & Masters, Inc. v.
Augusta Nat'l Inc., 223 F.3d 1082, 1086
(9th Cir. 2000)). The plaintiff has the burden of
establishing the first two factors. Schwarzenegger,
374 F.3d at 802. If the plaintiff makes that showing, the
burden shifts to the defendant to “‘present a
compelling case' that the exercise of jurisdiction would
not be reasonable.” Id. (quoting Burger
King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 476-78 (1985)).
In performing a personal jurisdiction analysis, a court looks
to purposeful availment where the cause of action lies in
contract, and looks to purposeful direction where the cause
of action lies in tort. Axiom Foods, Inc. v. Acerchem
Int'l, Inc., 874 F.3d 1064, 1069 (9th Cir. 2017).
Lanham Act claims sound in tort; accordingly, the purposeful
direction test applies. See Liberty Ammunition, Inc. v.
United States, 101 Fed.Cl. 581, 591 (Fed. Cir. 2011)
(“Violations of the Lanham Act sound in tort”);
Omega RV v. RV Factory, LLC, No. 1:16-CV-00204-EJL,
2017 WL 1943952, at *3-4 (D. Idaho May 10, 2017) (analyzing
Lanham Act violation under the purposeful direction test);
Warner Bros. Home Entm't, Inc. v. Shi, No. CV
12-07753 DMG (PLAx), 2013 WL 12116586, at *4 (C.D. Cal. Jan.
contends that two of Defendant's contacts with Arizona
justify the exercise of personal jurisdiction. First,
Plaintiff notes that Defendant operates a commercial website
that is accessible in Arizona. (Doc. 25 at 5-7). Second,
Plaintiff maintains that ...