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STORE DECOR DIV. OF JAS INTL. v. STYLEX WORLDWIDE

June 19, 1991

STORE DECOR DIVISION OF JAS INTERNATIONAL, INC., an Illinois corporation, Plaintiff,
v.
STYLEX WORLDWIDE INDUSTRIES, LTD., a Massachusetts CORPORATION, BEAUTY BROKERS, LTD., a Massachusetts corporation, and FRANCIS LAURENCE, Defendants


George M. Marovich, United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: MAROVICH

GEORGE M. MAROVICH, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

 Plaintiff filed this suit against defendants alleging, inter alia, copyright infringement. Before the court is defendants' motions to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, for improper venue, and for failure to state a claim for copyright infringement. Alternatively, defendants move to transfer this action to the District of Massachusetts pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ยง 1404(a). For the following reasons, all of defendants' motions are denied.

 BACKGROUND

 The facts alleged in plaintiff's amended complaint are as follows. Plaintiff is an Illinois corporation with its principal place of business in Chicago. Defendants Stylex and Beauty Brokers are Massachusetts corporations with their principal places of business in Massachusetts. Defendant Laurence is the president of both Stylex and Beauty Brokers.

 In 1987, plaintiff created four mirrored acrylic sculptures for use as beauty parlor furnishings. Since 1987, the sculptures have been published by plaintiff "in conformance with the provisions of the Copyright Laws." The certificates of registration for these sculptures were issued on February 21, 1990. Both corporate defendants had access to these works because both purchased them from plaintiff on May 15, 1989. Sometime prior to January of 1990, defendants copied the copyrighted works and sold the copies in the northern district of Illinois and elsewhere in the United States. Beauty Brokers "sells all of its products through independent sales representatives and distributors and directly to customers via United Parcel Services." Beauty Brokers has sold the allegedly infringing products in Illinois through its independent sales representatives and distributors in Illinois. Stylex sold the allegedly infringing products in Chicago in March of 1990. Defendant Laurence is the dominant influence in both Stylex and Beauty Brokers and personally determined the corporate policies of both Stylex and Beauty Brokers which have resulted in the alleged infringement. Laurence has derived financial benefit directly from the sales of the allegedly infringing products.

 ANALYSIS

 Personal Jurisdiction

 Unless authorized by a federal statute or a federal rule of civil procedure (e.g., in interpleader cases), a federal district court has personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant only if the courts of the state in which the federal court sits would have personal jurisdiction over the defendant. Davis v. A & J Electronics, 792 F.2d 74, 75-76 (7th Cir. 1986). In making this determination, the court must apply a two-step analysis: (1) whether the facts alleged in a particular case bring the defendant within the reach of the forum state's long arm statute, and if so, (2) whether the court's exercise of personal jurisdiction over the defendant is consonant with due process.

 The Illinois long arm statute provides in relevant part:

 
(a) Any person, whether or not a citizen or resident of this state, who in person or through an agent does any of the acts hereinafter enumerated, thereby submits such person, . . . to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state as to any cause of action arising from the doing of any such acts:
 
(1) The transaction of any business within this state;
 
(2) The commission of a tortious act within ...

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