In the ongoing saga of Canon’s attempt to shut down a couple of high profile gray market retailers, the Get It Digital lawsuit moves into the discovery phase, while F&E Trading files a Motion to Dismiss for one of the parties that Canon is after.
As a brief recap, Canon USA filed suit against Get It Digital, LLC and F&E Trading, LLC, which are a pair of companies operating various websites and ebay seller accounts, including Get It Digital, All New Shop, Big Value Inc. and Electronics Valley, among others. The lawsuits center around the sales of imported Canon DSLRs that are sold to consumers at significantly reduced prices. Some of Canon’s complaints are that these cameras don’t include all the official accessories, warranty protection and user manuals. You can get the full recap on the Canon’s gray market war with past updates by starting here.
On to current events…
Canon USA v. F&E Trading Lawsuit
In a prior update, we discussed how Albert Houllou was a key target in Canon’s Amended complaint against F&E Trading. Houllou appears to be the principal owner/operator of F & E Trading. Canon USA wants to cut off the head, so it named him individually in the lawsuit. This is a common tactic that we previously covered.
Houllou was given more time to file a response to Canon’s original lawsuit and has now filed a Motion to Dismiss for failure by Canon to state a claim upon which relief can be granted.
The crux of Houllou’s Motion to Dismiss is that Canon has done nothing more than make conclusory allegations about his role in F&E Trading’s sale of gray market cameras. Houllou points to significant case law on piercing the corporate veil to demonstrate Canon’s failure to allege wrongdoing on Houllou’s part as an individual.
In response to Houllou’s Motion to Dismiss, Canon cites additional case law to support its argument that “Demonstrating that a corporate officer ‘authorized and approved the acts of unfair competition which are the basis of the corporation’s liability is sufficient to subject the officer to personal liability.”
As I previously wrote, this is a pivotal part of the lawsuit against F&E Trading and could lead to a quicker settlement and F&E Trading pulling out of the gray market camera business for Canon DSLRs, which is what Canon wants.
My brief take is that Houllou has a decent shot at winning his Motion to Dismiss. I think Canon is reaching somewhat in its allegations and hasn’t really done much to offer anything other than Houllou is the principal of the company. If he doesn’t win it now, there is likely another solid shot at dismissal after discovery but before trial unless some really damning facts come out during discovery.
You can read all of the relevant documents related to the Motion to Dismiss embedded below.
Canon USA v. Get It Digital Lawsuit
The suit against Get It Digital is chugging along and the parties appear to be in the middle of the discovery phase based on some recent filings. I imagine that depositions should be taking place soon and within the next month or so we might see a Motion for Summary Judgment by one or both parties.
When that happens, we should get some more facts as to the meat of the case. So, unless something really dramatic happens, it could be some time before there is another worthwhile update on the Get It Digital lawsuit.
In the mean time, there are several attorneys making a pile of money in these cases. So, at least someone is coming out ahead in these lawsuits…
Motion to Dismiss
Memo in Support of Motion to Dismiss
Memo in Opposition of Motion to Dismiss
Memo in Additional Support Motion to Dismiss