Leaffilter N., LLC v. Home Craft Builders, Inc.

Full title: LEAFFILTER NORTH, LLC, Plaintiff, v. HOME CRAFT BUILDERS, INC. d/b/a…

Court: United States District Court, N.D. Ohio, Eastern Division.

CASE NO. 4:20-CV-1442

Date published: Sep 16, 2020

Fact:

The parties are competitors in the home improvement industry, each of them offers gutter cover systems. ECF No. 1 at PageID #: 2-3. Plaintiff is an Ohio corporation with its principal place of business in Ohio. Id. at PageID # 1. Defendant is a Georgia corporation with its principal place of business in Georgia. Id. While Plaintiff conducts business across 87 locations in  North America, Defendant has “13 locations, all in the Southeastern United States[.]” Id. at PageID #: 3. Plaintiff has 20 locations in the Southeastern United States, at least one of which is in Georgia. Id .

Plaintiff contends that Defendant has “slavishly mimicked and copied almost every aspect of [Plaintiff’s] Website and [Plaintiff’s] Facebook materials.” ECF No. 1 at PageID #: 4. This mimickry includes the copying of copyrighted material, the use of similar graphics and logos, and assertions, such as “Learn more about out patented gutter guard[,]” that Plaintiff asserts are false as they relate to Defendant. Id. at PageID #: 4-6. Plaintiff alleges that this strategy, as well as the registration of leaffiltergutterguards.com for the purposes of redirecting consumers to homecraftgutterguards.com, is used to target its customers with “confusingly similar ads, thereby creating confusion in the marketplace.” Id. at PageID #: 6-7. Plaintiff further contends that Defendant has hired Plaintiff’s former employees, “each of whom were bound by non-compete and confidentiality agreements[,]” and then contacted Plaintiff’s customers. Id. at PageID #: 6.

Plaintiff brings five claims under state and federal law: False Advertising in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 112(a)(1)(B); Federal Unfair Competition in violation of 15 U.S.C. § 112(a)(1)(A); a violation of the Ohio Deceptive Trade Practices Act ( O.R.C.§ 4165.02 ); and state common law claims for Unfair Competition and Unjust Enrichment. Defendant has filed a motion to dismiss under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2) and/or Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(3) , asserting the Court lacks personal jurisdiction and that venue is improper. In the alternative, Defendant asks this Court to transfer the case to the Northern District of Georgia.

Issue:

Conclusion:

Based on the foregoing, Defendant’s Motion to Dismiss or Transfer (ECF No. 4 ) is granted to the extent that it seeks transfer. The Court hereby directs the Clerk of Courts to transfer this action to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

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