Minemyer v. R-Boc Reps., Inc., No. 07 C 1763, 2007 WL 2461666 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 24, 2007) (Coar, J.).
Judge Coar denied individual defendant Timothy Grimsley’s (“Grimsley”) motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Grimsley argued that all of his involvement in allegedly infringing plaintiff’s patented couplers was undertaken within the scope of his employment for defendant Dura-Line and, therefore, was protected by the fiduciary shield doctrine. But the Court disagreed. The parties provided conflicting evidence regarding whether Grimsley was an officer of Dura-Line and Grimsley’s level of control over Dura-Line’s coupler business. Additionally, the parties provided conflicting evidence regarding whether Grimsley was aware that Dura-Line’s couplers infringed plaintiff’s patents, but continued to market and sell them despite that knowledge, acts which would go beyond the scope of his employment because of his knowledge of their illegality. The Court, therefore, held that based on the current evidence the fiduciary shield doctrine was not available to Grimsley. But the Court acknowledged that further evidence may reverse that analysis and allowed Grimsley to refile his motion should discovery present that additional evidence.