United States District Court, N.D. New York
August 3, 2004.
TELEQUIP CORPORATION, a New Hampshire Corporation, Plaintiff,
CHANGE EXCHANGE, a New York Corporation; KORUS TECHNOLOGIES, a California Corporation; SEOUL INFORMATION INDUSTRIAL, INC., a Korean Corporation; OPTIMAL ROBOTICS CORPORATION, a Canadian Corporation; and OPTIMAL ROBOTICS, INC., a Delaware Corporation,[fn1] Defendants.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: FREDERICK SCULLIN, Chief Judge, District
*fn1 Defendants Change Exchange, Optimal Robotics Corp. and
Optimal Robotics, Inc. entered into a consent judgment with
Plaintiff and are no longer parties to this action. See Dkt. Nos.
8, 11. Plaintiff dismissed voluntarily against Defendant Korus.
See Dkt. No. 5. Defendant Seoul Information Industrial, Inc. has
never appeared in this action.
MEMORANDUM-DECISION AND ORDER
Presently before the Court is Plaintiff's motion for default
judgment as to Defendant Seoul Information Industrial, Inc.
("Seoul") pursuant to Rule 55(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Plaintiff alleges that it owns U.S. Patent No. 5,830,055, which
consists of a coin/token changing machine. According to
Plaintiff, Defendant Seoul violated 35 U.S.C. § 271 by making,
using and selling an infringing machine in this District and in
other areas internationally.
Plaintiff alleges that, after filing its complaint, it
diligently attempted to serve Defendant Seoul in compliance with
the Hague Convention on Service Abroad. Plaintiff succeeded in
doing so on April 22, 2003. Defendant Seoul failed to appear,
and, on November 6, 2003, the Clerk entered default against
Defendant Seoul. By letter dated November 14, 2003, the Court
notified Plaintiff that it must file a motion for entry of a
default judgment on the issue of liability or face dismissal of
the action for failure to prosecute. The Court further ordered
that, if Plaintiff moved for default judgment, Defendant would
have to respond on or before February 9, 2004. Plaintiff complied
and filed the instant motion.
Defendant Seoul has never appeared in this action.*fn2 III. DISCUSSION
A. Default Judgment Standard
The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure prescribe a two-step
process to enter judgment by default. See Thomas v. Biocine
Sclavo, S.P.A., No. 94CV1568, 1998 WL 51861, *2-*3 (N.D.N.Y.
Feb. 4, 1998). Under Rule 55(a), a clerk must first enter the
default against a party who fails to plead or otherwise defend.
See Fed.R.Civ.P. 55(a). The party seeking entry of default
must provide evidence that the entry of default is appropriate.
See id. The second step in the process requires that a
plaintiff move the court for default judgment. See Thomas, 1998
WL 51861, at *3. In considering a motion for default judgment,
the court will treat the well-pleaded factual allegations of the
complaint as true, and the court will then analyze those facts
for their sufficiency to state a claim. See id. at *3-*4
With these standards in mind, the Court will address
B. Plaintiff's causes of action for patent infringement under
35 U.S.C. § 271 et seq.
To establish a prima facie patent infringement claim, a
plaintiff must plead (1) that the trial court has jurisdiction
over the matter; (2) that the plaintiff has title to the patent;
(3) that the plaintiff is the original and first inventor who was
subject to infringement; (4) the claims of the patent which the
defendant has infringed and (5) that the defendant received
notice of the infringement. See 60 Am.Jur.2d Patents §
875 (2003) (footnotes omitted); see also Ivoclar Vivadent, Inc. v.
New Wave Dental, Inc., No. 01-CV-0211E, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
25514 (W.D.N.Y. Dec. 16, 2002).
Plaintiff alleges that the Court has subject matter
jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1331 and 1338(a) and personal jurisdiction over
Defendant Seoul because Defendant Seoul has committed patent
infringement within this District. Plaintiff alleges further that
it owns a valid United States patent for a "Coin Token Canister
and Ejection Mechanism." See First Amended Complaint at ¶ 12.
According to Plaintiff, Defendant Seoul has willfully violated
this exclusive patent by "making, using, selling and/or offering
for sale their coin/token changer products." See id. at ¶
13.*fn3 In light of these allegations, the Court finds that
Plaintiff's complaint is sufficient to give notice to Defendant
Seoul and to allow it to answer and formulate a defense.
Accordingly, the Court grants Plaintiff's motion for a default
judgment on the issue of liability.
After carefully considering the file in this matter and the
parties' submissions, as well as the applicable law, and for the
reasons stated herein, the Court hereby
ORDERS that Plaintiff's motion for a default judgment against
Defendant Seoul Information Industrial, Inc., is GRANTED with
respect to the issue of liability; and the Court further
ORDERS that this case is remanded to Magistrate Judge Gustave
J. DiBianco to set a discovery schedule.*fn4
IT IS SO ORDERED.