Digisound-WIE, Inc. v. BeStar Techs., Inc., No. 07 C 6535, 2008 WL 2095605 (N.D. Ill. May 16, 2008) (Lindberg, Sen. J.).
Judge Lindberg granted individual defendants Mr. and Ms. Greiling’s Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2) motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. Both Greilings were German citizens and residents. Mr. Greiling was previously Managing Director of plaintiff’s parent company, but no longer held that role. First, the Court held that the Greilings were not amenable to Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(k)(2) nationwide service of process because the Lanham Act, which created federal question jurisdiction in this trade secret misappropriation case, did not provide for nationwide service, as some acts do. As a result, the Greilings’ general contacts with the United States were irrelevant. The issue was whether the Greilings had sufficient minimum contacts with Illinois for specific jurisdiction.
The Court did not have specific jurisdiction over Ms. Greiling because she had no contacts with Illinois. She had never been to or conducted business in Illinois and she had no other attachments to Illinois.
Mr. Greiling was a closer question, but the Court held that it lacked specific jurisdiction over him as well. Mr. Greiling was formerly Managing Director of plaintiff’s parent entity, and plaintiff was an Illinois entity. But Mr. Greiling was no longer employed by plaintiff’s parent. And plaintiff provided no facts indicating that Mr. Greiling had any contacts with Illinois during the time relevant to the case.
The Court also denied plaintiff’s request for jurisdictional discovery. Plaintiff had not made a prima facie case for personal jurisdiction and jurisdictional discovery was not appropriate without the prima facie showing of jurisdiction.