Case of the Day: Noco Co. v. Shenzen Dika Na’Er E-Commerce Co.

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.

2 responses to “Case of the Day: Noco Co. v. Shenzen Dika Na’Er E-Commerce Co.”

  1. If I understand the facts… the plaintiff didn’t bother hiring a Chinese investigator to search for the company?

    1. Aaron, I think you’re right. In a case like this, there’s probably no question about trying to go to China to enforce a judgment; what the plaintiff probably wants is a judgment, even a default judgment, that it can show Amazon to get the infringing products taken off the web. So failing to look too hard for the defendant given the costs involved might well be a sound decision—but it’s hard to say.

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