Pumponator Inc. v. Watersports, LLC, No. 11 C 3956, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. April 5, 2012) (Aspen, Sen. J.).

Judge Aspen denied the Ketz defendant’s (“Ketz”) Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2) motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction in this Lanham Act case involving water-balloon filling devices.  The Court did not address whether it had general jurisdiction over Ketz because it found that it had specific jurisdiction.  While Ketz had not owned real estate, paid taxes, voted or maintained offices in Illinois, Ketz had sufficient Illinois contacts:

  • Ketz had a single employee visit to Illinois.
  • Ketz had numerous emails with its new Illinois-based suppliers, defendant Water Sports.
  • Ketz had received about $1,000 in commission from Water Sports.
  • Approximately 147 Illinois storefronts placed orders with Ketz.
  • Ketz represented multiple other toy manufacturers in Illinois during the relevant period, with $1.2 M in sales.

Finally, the individual defendant was not protected by the fiduciary shield doctrine because he was the sole owner of Ketz & Associates Inc.