United States District Court, N.D. Alabama, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
VIRGINIA EMERSON HOPKINS, United States District Judge
February 27, 2017, Plaintiff Brian Robert Blazer, d/b/a/
Carpenter Bee Solutions (“Mr.
Blazer”) initiated this action against Defendant
Chrisman Mill Farms, LLC (“CMF”). (Doc. 1). In his
Amended Complaint (doc. 3), Mr. Blazer alleges, inter alia,
that CMF infringed a patent that he owns, specifically, U.S.
Patent No. 8, 375, 624 (“the '624 Patent”),
which covers an insect trap meant for carpenter bees. He also
alleges a breach of contract claim.
31, 2017, CMF a motion to transfer venue of this action to
the Eastern District of Kentucky. (Motion, doc. 12; brief,
doc. 13). Mr. Blazer opposed the Motion on June 14, 2017.
(Doc. 16). CMF replied on June 21, 2017. (Doc. 17). Thus, the
Motion is now ripe for determination.
case has an interesting and, indeed, in this judge's
experience, unique procedural background. Because that
background features prominently in Mr. Blazer's
opposition to the Motion, it will be set out in this
short version is that CMF was selling carpenter bee traps
that infringed Mr. Blazer's patent. When Mr. Blazer told
CMF he had a patent that covered CMF's traps, CMF agreed.
Mr. Blazer and CMF then entered into a license agreement
permitting CMF to sell the traps and obligating CMF to pay
royalties to Mr. Blazer. The license agreement expired in
it no longer had a license, CMF modified its carpenter bee
trap in a manner that it believed avoided the claims covered
by Mr. Blazer's patent. CMF sold its modified carpenter
bee trap through sites such as Amazon. Mr. Blazer told CMF
the modified trap infringed his patent. Mr. Blazer also
notified Amazon and other sites that CMF's trap infringed
his patent. The notified sites dropped the modified trap from
January 6, 2017, CMF preemptively filed a declaratory
judgment law suit in the United States District Court for the
Eastern District of Kentucky (the “DJ
Action”). CMF sought a declaration that CMF's
modified traps did not infringe Mr. Blazer's patent. Mr.
Blazer filed a motion to dismiss or transfer (to this
district) the DJ Action on the basis that the court hearing
the DJ action did not have personal jurisdiction - either
general or special - over him. That court agreed that it
lacked personal jurisdiction and transferred the action to
this district, where this action had been filed and where
personal jurisdiction existed as to both Mr. Blazer and CMF.
In the first page of its twenty-two page Memorandum Opinion
and Order, that court stated
The Court finds that it lacks personal jurisdiction over the
defendant after considering the parties' briefs and
arguments. As a result, this action will be transferred to
the United States District Court for the Northern District of
Alabama pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1406, where venue is
proper and a companion case is currently pending.
Chrisman Mill Farms, LLC v. Brian R. Blazer, d/b/a
Carpenter Bee Solutions, Civil Action No. 5:17-011-DCR
(E.D. Ken.), Doc. 36, filed April 19, 2017.
transfer to this district, the DJ Action was docketed as
Chrisman Mill Farms, LLC v. Brian R. Blazer,
d/b/a Carpenter Bee Solutions, Civil Action No.
1:17-cv-647-SGC (N.D. Ala.). Because the parties did not
consent to full jurisdiction of Magistrate Judge Staci G.
Cornelius, the transferred DJ Action was randomly reassigned
to the undersigned district judge (on May 16, 2017). The
parties filed an agreed Stipulation of Dismissal (of the
transferred DJ Action) on May 22, 2017. On May 23, 2017, the
undersigned judge entered a final dismissal order (dismissing
the transferred DJ Action).
30, 2017, CMF filed an Answer, Defenses and Counterclaims in
the present action. CMF's counterclaims in this action
sets out the matters which had been stated as claims in the
31, 2017, CMF filed the present Motion (to transfer venue).
The Court takes judicial notice that, on July 6, 2017, Mr.
Blazer filed, in the transferred DJ Action, a Motion for
Relief from Judgment under Rule 60. The asserted basis for
re-opening the transferred DJ Action is that CMF's
present Motion constitutes fraud on this Court. (See
Chrisman Mill Farms, LLC v. Brian R. Blazer, d/b/a Carpenter
Bee Solutions, Civil Action No. 1:17-cv-647-VEH, doc
45). That motion is also under submission and will be dealt
with by separate order.