Rebel Hospitality LLC v. Rebel Hospitality LLC, No. 21-cv-05132, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Mar. 16, 2022) (Guzman, J.).
Judge Guzman granted defendant Rebel Hospitality DE’s Fed. R.Civ. P. 12(c) motion to dismiss plaintiff Rebel Hospitality IL’s trademark infringement complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction in this case about REBEL HOSPITALITY marks.
As an initial matter, Rebel Hospitality IL waived any timeliness argument by not contesting the issue in its response brief. Rebel Hospitality DE answered the complaint and included a personal jurisdiction affirmative defense, but did not file a Rule 12(b)(2) motion at that time, as it technically should have and waited months to move to dismiss. The Court noted that, even if Rebel Hospitality IL had argued that Rebel Hospitality DE waived its jurisdictional argument, the Court would have decided the motion because it would promote form over substance to refuse to consider a jurisdictional argument in a Rule 12(c) motion filed after an answer that included personal jurisdiction as an affirmative defense.
Rebel Hospitality DE submitted an affidavit showing that it had no direct connection to Illinois. Rebel Hospitality IL focused its jurisdictional arguments on the fact that Rebel Hospitality DE’s harm was targeted at Rebel Hospitality IL in Illinois. The Court held that trademark infringement “directed” at the jurisdiction without more was not enough. The Court also noted that despite having some discovery, Rebel Hospitality IL failed to offer a competing affidavit showing any substantial connection between Rebel Hospitality DE, besides a nationally distributed interview by Rebel Hospitality DE personnel.
Finally, the Court denied Rebel Hospitality IL’s motion for jurisdictional discovery. In order to get jurisdictional discovery, Rebel Hospitality IL had an obligation to make a “colorable” showing of personal jurisdiction, which it had not done.