Sandi Zimnicki v. General Foam Plastics Corp., USDC N.D. Illinois, October 4, 2010.
Sandi Zimnicki is an artist and a technical consultant for movies including “Home Alone 2″. She has a following of people who collect her holiday miniatures, including deer. Upon finding evidence that defendant, General Foam Plastics, was knocking off her deer designs in China, Zimnicki sued in Illinois.
General Foam noting that the infringement took place in China moved for summary judgement on the grounds that there was no subject matter jurisdiction.
The trial court ruled that “there is no indication that Congress intended extraterritorial limitations on the scope of the Copyright Act to limit the subject matter jurisdiction of the federal courts.” After finding that General Foam, a U.S. corporation domiciled in Virginia, is properly a party, the court ruled that the issue of where the infringement happened does not trigger jurisdiction issues but is to be a part of the infringement claim evidence. The court went on to explain that “It appears that the sale and delivery to the United States occurred in one seamless transaction – or a series of such transactions. Either way, we are not persuaded that we should parse the transaction in the technical way that Nixan has asked us to do. To rule otherwise would encourage gamesmanship.”