Case of the Day: Surefire LLC v. Casual Home Worldwide, Inc.

The case of the day is Surefire, LLC v. Casual Home Worldwide, Inc. (S.D. Cal. 2012). Surefire sued Fenixlight Ltd., a Chinese company, for patent infringement. It served the summons and complaint on Ming Chiang in Nevada and asserted that he was an agent authorized to accept service on behalf of Fenixlight. Although Surefire argued that Chiang had told the process server that he was authorized to accept service, Surefire offered no testimony to that effect, while Fenixlight offered affidavits to prove that Chiang was not authorized; in any case, a supposed agent’s statement that he has authority to accept service on behalf of a corporation is not dispositive under ordinary principles of agency law, which require a manifestation of authority from the principal, not the agent. The judge correctly quashed the service of process.

About Ted Folkman

Ted Folkman is a shareholder with Murphy & King, a Boston law firm, where he has a complex business litigation practice. He is the author of International Judicial Assistance (MCLE 2d ed. 2016), a nuts-and-bolts guide to international judicial assistance issues, and of the chapter on service of process in the ABA's forthcoming treatise on International Aspects of US Litigation, and he is the publisher of Letters Blogatory, the Web's first blog devoted to international judicial assistance, which the ABA recognized as one of the best 100 legal blogs in 2012, 2014, and 2015.

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