Tuesday, December 10, 2019

More on Service of Process by E-mail

More on Service of Process by E-mail

      In a recent decision from California, service of process by email was authorized against a company selling allegedly infringing baseball cards through eBay. Panini America, Inc. v. KollectorsVault, LLC, Case No. 19-CV-03800-LB, 2019 WL 6311414 (N.D. Ca. Nov. 25, 2019). 

      The plaintiff, Panini, makes a variety of sports memorabilia including trading cards. It alleged that defendants Stephen Teani and KollectorsVault, LLC were selling infringing products through eBay. When they failed to cease those activities after demand, Panini filed this lawsuit under a variety of theories including federal trademark infringement.

      Apparently there were no problems filings the complaint and summons upon Mr. Teani individually. He alleged, however, that he had no association with KollectorsVault and that he was the victim of identity theft. The plaintiffs then engaged in a variety of efforts to ascertain the facts, including a subpoena on the police department with respect to Teani’s alleged identity theft, upon eBay for information with respect to KollectorsVault’s; registration, and upon the USPS seeking information with respect to KollectorsVault’s P.O. Box. After these efforts, Panini sought permission from the court to serve the complaint upon KollectorsVault at its Yahoo address.

      The court, finding that Panini had undertaken significant efforts to locate information with respect to KollectorsVault, ordered that service of the summons and complaint could be affected through KollectorsVault’s Yahoo email address that it maintained on its eBay profile.

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