Judge Martinez of the Western District of Washington, in response to Defendants Charlie’s One Stop Computer Center, Inc. and its president, Michael Aucoin’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, instead transferred the litigation to Massachusetts. The case was initially filed in June, 2016, against unknown defendants, alleging infringement of Microsoft copyrights and trademarks on software being installed using fraudulent product keys. Discovery led to the identification of Charlie’s One Stop and Mr. Aucoin, who then moved to dismiss. Microsoft indicated that, if dismissed, it would simply re-file here. When the defendants admitted that jurisdiction would exist in Massachusetts, transfer was ordered. Judge Wolf has been assigned to the case.
Washington’s long-arm statute allows a court to award attorney’s fees for a party served under the statute who prevails in the action. Judge Martinez determined that Microsoft, when first notified about the jurisdictional issue, told Defendants that it would “vigorously defend against any motion to dismiss,” and after Defendants filed the motion, that it would consent to transfer to Massachusetts only if the motion and request for fees were withdrawn. He determined that such conduct, followed by Microsoft appearing in court and not opposing transfer, warranted the award of fees.