(CN) – A California court does not have jurisdiction to consider if a manufacturer of iPad 2 cases stole a competitor’s business by improperly using the competitor’s copyrighted product photos as its own, a federal judge ruled.
Sanho Corporation, a Sunnyvale, Ca.-based company, and CIMO Technologies, based in Paterson, New Jersey, both manufacture iPad 2 covers and sell them online.
Sanho owns copyrighted photos of its HyperShield iPad 2 covers, which all bear the mark “Copyright © 2011 Sanho Corporation” in the lower right hand corner.
At some point, Sanho discovered that CIMO was using its copyrighted photos for CIMO’s products on cimousa.com, Amazon.com and eBay.com.
When Sanho sued CIMO for copyright infringement, CIMO immediately removed the images, and CIMO President, Yavus Bayram, said that the copying was “inadvertent,” according to the judgment.
Nevertheless, Sanho asserted that its sales dropped 40 percent as a result of confusion in the market and its reputation suffered.
CIMO denied the charges, claiming that it only used the copyrighted images for approximately 16 days, and did not experience any sales increase during that time.
U.S. District Judge Phyllis Hamilton granted CIMO’s motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, but did not address Sanho’s substantive claims.
“Here, CIMO is not a resident of the same state as plaintiff. Furthermore, plaintiff has failed to make a prima facie showing that CIMO’s website directly targeted California customers,” Hamilton said.
“Here, plaintiff does not allege or prove that CIMO sought or attracted a national audience, much less a California audience. Plaintiff does not allege or prove that California customers have ever purchased iPad 2 covers from CIMO. Plaintiff merely states that ‘notably missing from Mr. Bayram’s many averments in his declaration is a claim that CIMO has never sold iPad 2 covers in California.’ This is not enough to establish a prima facie case that CIMO does in fact have California customers,” Hamilton added.