Southern District Grants Motion to Dismiss for Pacific Coast Breaker, Inc. in Trademark Infringement Suit Over Circuit Breakers with the ZINSCO Mark

Indianapolis, IN – The Southern District of Indiana has granted a Motion to Dismiss in a trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Connecticut Electric, Inc. of Anderson, Indiana alleging that Pacific Coast Breaker, Inc. of McClellan, California and and PC Systems, Inc., also of California, infringed trademark registration no. 975,845 for the mark ZINSCO registered with the US Trademark Office.

The suit involves circuit breakers sold by Pacific Coast that are manufactured in China by PC and sold only to Pacific Coast. The plaintiff claimed that Pacific previously purchased its breakers from Connecticut, but stopped purchasing circuit breakers from plaintiff and began selling circuit breakers that look “identical in appearance to the ZINSCO circuit breakers.” We previously blogged about the case here.

The court granted this motion to dismiss finding a lack of personal jurisdiction because neither of the California defendants had sufficient contact with Indiana. Connecticut had argued that there were sufficient contacts with Indiana because Pacific Coast had sold 648 circuit breakers to Indiana residents over the last five years. However, the court could not distinguish whether these Indiana sales were of the allegedly infringing product or of the authentic product. At most, the court believe only $3,780 worth of sales were allegedly infringing products, which the court concluded was not substantial enough to create personal jurisdiction.

Practice Tip: The court also rejected Connecticut’s argument for personal jurisdiction because Pacific committed intentional torts of trademark infringement, trade dress infringement, unfair competition, forgery, and counterfeiting which were directed into Indiana.

This case was assigned to Senior Judge Larry J. McKinney of Southern District of Indiana, and assigned Case No. 1:10-cv-01440-LJM-TAB

Connecticut Electric v Pacific Coast Breaker

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