Case of the Day: Noco Co. v. Shenzen Dika Na’Er E-Commerce Co.
Posted on November 30, 2017
The case of the day is Noco Co. v. Shenzen Dika Na’Er E-Commerce Co. (N.D. Ohio 2017). Noco sued Shenzen Dika, a Chinese company, for patent infringement. The claim was that the defendant was selling infirnging products on Amazon. Noco “attempted to ascertain a physical address, email address or other contact information by searching Defendants website, Amazon, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) ICANN, Google and other social media platforms, including Facebook, all to no avail.”
Noco moved for leave to serve process by email (using an email address associated with one of the defendant’s trademarks) and Facebook Messenger. The judge granted the motion. There is some troublesome language in the decision: “Furthermore, federal courts have repeatedly found that email service is not prohibited by the Hague Convention.” This suggests the judge was persuaded by the Gurung line of cases. But the outcome is correct, because the defendant’s address is unknown and the Convention therefore did not apply.