Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. v. Armscor Precision International, Inc.

United States District Court, D. New Hampshire

August 17, 2016

Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc.
v.
Armscor Precision International, Inc. et al. Opinion No. 2016 DNH 141

          ORDER

          ANDREA K. JOHNSTONE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc. (“Ruger”) brought suit against Armscor Precision International, Inc. (“API”), Rock Island Armory Exports, Inc. (“RIA”) (collectively “domestic defendants”), and Arms Corporation of the Philippines (“ACP” or “Filipino defendant”) asserting claims arising out of the defendants’ alleged copying of a rifle manufactured by Ruger. Ruger moves to compel the defendants to respond to certain discovery requests. Doc. no. 42. The defendants object. Doc. no. 45. For the reasons that follow, the court grants Ruger’s motion in part and denies in part.

         Standard of Review

         “Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case . . . .” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). “Information within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.” Id. If a party fails to respond to requests for production or interrogatories, the party seeking discovery may move to compel production of the requested documents or answers to the interrogatories. Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a)(3)(B)(iii), (iv).

         The party seeking an order compelling discovery responses over an opponent's objection bears the initial burden of showing that the discovery requested is relevant. Caouette v. OfficeMax, Inc., 352 F.Supp.2d 134, 136 (D.N.H. 2005). “This burden, however, should not be overstated. As the court of appeals has instructed, ‘district courts are to interpret liberally the discovery provisions of the Federal Rules [of] Civil Procedure to encourage the free flow of information among litigants.’” West v. Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc., No. 10-cv-214-JL, 2011 WL 6371791, at *2 (D.N.H. Dec. 20, 2011) (quoting Heidelberg Ams., Inc. v. Tokyo Kikai Seisakusho, Ltd., 333 F.3d 38, 41 (1st Cir. 2003)).

         Background[1]

         Ruger is a manufacturer of firearms, which is incorporated in Delaware and has its main corporate office located in Connecticut. Am. Compl. ¶ 2. Ruger has a facility in Newport, New Hampshire, where it manufactures its signature rifle, the “10/22® carbine autoloading rifle (the ‘10/22’)”. Id. ¶¶ 2, 12. Ruger has sold and marketed its 10/22 rifle around the world. Id. ¶¶ 12, 29.

         The domestic defendants API and RIA are both located in Nevada. Id. ¶ 3-4. The Filipino defendant is a foreign corporation with its main office in the Philippines. Id. ¶ 5. In this case, Ruger alleges that the defendants have designed and manufactured a .22 caliber semi-automatic rifle (the “RIA 22”) that impermissibly copies the 10/22. Id. ¶¶ 37-262. Ruger claims that the defendants have sold and marketed the RIA 22 around the world. Id. ¶¶ 263-345.

         Based on the defendants’ alleged conduct, Ruger brought this suit asserting claims for trade dress infringement, 15 U.S.C. § 1125(a), trade dress dilution, § 1125(c), contributory trade dress infringement § 1125(a), and violation of the New Hampshire Consumer Protection Act, RSA 358-A. Id. ¶¶ 346-70. Ruger alleges this court has jurisdiction over the case because the defendants’ actions violate the Lanham Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1125. Id. ¶¶ 9, 348, 353, 367.

         In early 2016, Ruger served the defendants with interrogatories and requests for the production of documents concerning, among other things, information regarding the sales, marketing, and advertising of the RIA 22. See Pl.’s Exs. A, D, E, F, G, H. The defendants objected to Ruger’s requests, in part, contending that the requested information is irrelevant and improperly seeks discovery of sales, marketing, and advertising information occurring outside the United States. Id. The defendants stated in their discovery responses that they would only produce discovery “concerning marketing or advertising [or sales] in the United States that [is] not otherwise privileged or protected . . . .” Pl.’s Ex. A at 3-4; Ex. D at 3-4; Ex. E at 3-4 (emphasis added).

         The parties soon after met and conferred to address Ruger’s discovery requests and the defendants’ responses. The parties were unable to reach an agreement, and Ruger filed its motion to compel.

         Discussion

         A. Discovery of the Defendants’ Foreign Sales and Marketing Activities

         Ruger contends the disputed discovery requests are “directly relevant to the claims and allegations raised in its complaint.” Doc. no. 42 at 8. Specifically, Ruger alleges that the defendants sell and market the RIA 22 around the world; therefore, discovery concerning the defendants’ sales and marketing of the RIA 22 is relevant to determining damages and establishing subject-matter jurisdiction under the Lanham Act. In response, the defendants argue that “information relat[ed] to [their] activities ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.