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Spongebob

Spongebob

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Published by eriq_gardner6833
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Published by: eriq_gardner6833 on Mar 11, 2013
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03/11/2013

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NO JS-6UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTCENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIAGIBSON GUITAR CORP., aDelaware corporation,Plaintiff,v.VIACOMINTERNATIONAL INC., aDelaware corporation; JOHNHORNBY SKEWES & CO., LTD., aUnited Kingdomcorporation,Defendants. __________________________)))))))))))))))Case No. CV 12-10870 DDP (AJWx)
ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO DISMISSFOR FAILURE TO STATE A CLAIM
[Dkt. No. 13]Presently before the court is Defendant ViacomInternationalInc. (“Viacom”)s Motion to Dismiss Case for Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction and, in the Alternative, for Failure to State a Claimon Which Relief May Be Granted. Having considered the parties’submissions, the court adopts the following order.
I. BACKGROUND
Plaintiff Gibson Guitar Corporation (“Gibson”) owns trademarksto the Flying V Body Shape Design Trademark, the Flying V Peg-HeadDesign Trademark, and the word mark FLYING V. (Compl. 2.)Defendant Viacomis a Delaware corporation that owns trademarks for
Case 2:12-cv-10870-DDP-AJW Document 24 Filed 03/08/13 Page 1 of 8 Page ID #:352
 
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728SPONGEBOB SQUAREPANTS. (Id. 6.) Defendant John Hornby Skewes &Co. Ltd. (“JHS”) is a United Kingdomcorporation that promotes andsells various products using the SPONGEBOB trademarks. (Id. 7.)Gibson alleges that Defendants “are or have been advertising andsellingproducts using the Flying V trademark. (Id. 24.) Inparticular, Gibson is concerned with the SpongeBob SquarePantsFlying V Ukulele (the “Ukulele”). (Id. 22, Exh. D.)Gibson asserts claims for trademark infringement,counterfeiting, false designation of origin, false descriptions ofact and representations and false advertising, trademark dilution,trade dress infringement, and contributory infringement underfederal law, analogous state law claims, and accounting.
II. LEGAL STANDARD AND DISCUSSIONA. Subject Matter Jurisdiction
Viacommoves to dismiss the Complaint for lack of subjectmatter jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1). “Unless the jurisdictional issue is inextricable fromthe merits of a case, thecourt may determine jurisdiction on a motion to dismiss for lack o jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(1).Robinson v. U.S., 586 F.3d 683,685 (9th Cir. 2009). A party may raise a jurisdictional challengeunder 12(b)(1) either on the face of the pleadings or withreference to extrinsic evidence. Warren v. Fox Family Worldwide,Inc., 38 F.3d 1136, 1139 (9th Cir. 2003). Where subject matter jurisdiction is challenged, the party asserting jurisdiction bearsthe burden of proving its existence. Robinson, 586 F.3d at 685.Viacommakes a factual challenge to subject matter jurisdiction and argues that it has presented evidence of a lack of  jurisdiction that Gibson has failed to rebut. Viacompresents the
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Case 2:12-cv-10870-DDP-AJW Document 24 Filed 03/08/13 Page 2 of 8 Page ID #:353
 
12345678910111213141516171819202122232425262728license agreement between itself and JHS indicating that itlicensed SPONGEBOB to JHS for character-identified musical itemsfor use in certain countries but not in the United States. (Decl.Ashley Holman, Exh. A.)A Rule 12(b)(1) dismissal is not appropriate when “the jurisdictional issue and substantive issues are so intertwined thatthe question of jurisdiction is dependent on the resolution ofactual issues going to the merits.Safe Air for Everyone v.Meyer, 373 F.3d 1035, 1039-40 (9th Cir. 2004)(internal citation andquotation marks omitted). “The question of jurisdiction and themerits of an action are intertwined where a statute provides thebasis for both the subject matter jurisdiction of the federal courtand the plaintiff's substantive claimfor relief.Id. (internalcitation and quotation marks omitted). Here, Viacomasserts thatthe court lacks subject matter jurisdiction because there has beenno use of the mark in commerce. This jurisdictional requirement isfound in the LanhamAct, in the same provision that providesGibsons cause of action. 15 U.S.C. § 1114 (“Any person who shall,without the consent of the registrant . . . use in commerce anyreproduction, counterfeit, copy, etc. of a registered mark . . .shall be liable in a civil action . . . .”). The court therefore finds that the question of jurisdictionand merits are intertwined and that it is not appropriate todismiss the case for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.
B. Failure to State a Claim
Viacomalso argues under Rule 12(b)(6) that Gibson failed tostate a claimfor use of the mark in U.S. commerce or forinfringing activity by Viacom. A complaint will survive a motion
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Case 2:12-cv-10870-DDP-AJW Document 24 Filed 03/08/13 Page 3 of 8 Page ID #:354

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