Kroto Inc. v. Chapa, No. 17 C 1218, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jun. 22, 2017) (Der-Yeghiayan, J.).
Judge Der-Yeghiayan granted declaratory judgment defendants’ Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2) motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, but denied their sanctions motion in this copyright dispute.
Declaratory judgment plaintiff Kroto’s jurisdictional allegation revolved around defendants’ copyright enforcement actions — sending cease & desist letters to Kroto in Illinois and seeking to enforce its copyrights. Because defendants’ only ties to Illinois were through Kroto and because copyright enforcement activities alone do not create personal jurisdiction, the Court lacked jurisdiction over defendants.
While an “adequate [Rule 11] investigation” may have shown Kroto that it could not establish personal jurisdiction, but there was not enough evidence to warrant the “severe penalty” of Rule 11 sanctions in this instance.