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Nike, Inc. v. Eastern Ports Custom Brokers, Inc.

United States District Court, D. New Jersey

October 16, 2019

NIKE, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
EASTERN PORTS CUSTOM BROKERS INC., et al., Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          JAMES B. CLARK, III UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court on a motion by Plaintiff Nike, Inc. (“Nike” or “Plaintiff”) for leave to amend its Complaint and conduct limited expedited discovery [Dkt. No. 223].[1] Defendants City Ocean International, Inc. (“International”) and City Ocean Logistics, Co., LTD (“Logistics”) (collectively “City Ocean” or “Defendants”) oppose Plaintiff's motion [Dkt. No. 225]. For the reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's motion for leave to conduct limited expedited discovery and amend its Complaint [Dkt. No. 223] is DENIED.

         I. FACTUAL BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         The Court's July 18, 2018 Opinion granting Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment with respect to certain counts on the issue of liability and denying Defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment [Dkt. No. 203] includes a detailed recounting of the background of this matter. Accordingly, this Opinion and Order discusses only the facts and procedural history relevant to the present motion.

         Plaintiff is an American corporation that advertises and sells footwear and related footwear products throughout the United States. Dkt. No. 68, ¶¶ 3, 8. Plaintiff possesses Federal Trademark registrations for several widely recognized trademarks including “Nike, ” “Swoosh Design, ” “Swoosh, ” “Nike Air, ” and “Air Force 1.” Dkt. No. 68, ¶¶ 8, 10. Plaintiff's marks are recorded with the United States Department of Treasury and the United States Customs and Border Protection (“Customs”). Dkt No. 68, ¶ 10; Dkt. No. 143-1, ¶ 4.

         International is an ocean transportation intermediary and non-vessel operating common carrier (“NVOCC”) organized in California and doing business in California and New Jersey that arranges for various third-party transportation services related to the shipment of cargo to and from the United States. Dkt. No. 147-1, ¶¶ 12-15.

         Logistics is an ocean transportation intermediary and NVOCC organized under the laws of China that arranges for third-party transportation services related to the export of goods from China. Dkt. No. 147-1, ¶¶ 1, 4.

         In March 2009, Customs seized two shipments at the Port of Newark containing 20, 320 pairs of counterfeit Nike footwear. Dkt. No. 68, ¶¶ 16, 21. Customs provided Plaintiff with a sample of the seized counterfeit footwear. Dkt. No. 143-1, ¶ 6. Plaintiff then determined that the sample of the seized counterfeit footwear bore at least eight registered Nike trademarks. Dkt. No. 143-1, ¶ 8.

         On or about July 28, 2011, Plaintiff filed its Complaint against defendant Eastern Ports Custom Brokers, Inc. (“Eastern Ports”) alleging various infringement and counterfeit claims. Dkt. No. 1. Eastern Ports then asserted third party claims against City Ocean. Dkt. No. 10. The Pretrial Scheduling Order was entered in this matter on May 14, 2012. Dkt. No. 37. On August 13, 2013, Plaintiff subsequently amended its complaint to include City Ocean as Defendants. Dkt. No. 68.

         Fact discovery in this matter closed on October 15, 2013 [Dkt. No. 70], and expert discovery closed on May 31, 2014 [Dkt. No. 128]. On September 15, 2014, the parties jointly submitted a request to file dispositive motions, which was granted [Dkt. Nos. 136, 137].

         On December 19, 2014, the parties filed their respective motions for summary judgment. See Dkt. Nos. 143, 147-48. The motions were opposed. On July 18, 2018, the Court granted Plaintiff's motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability with respect to Counts I, II, III, V, and VI of its Amended Complaint, and denied Defendants' cross-motion for summary judgment. Dkt. No. 204. The Court reserved jurisdiction “for purposes of determining damages with respect to such Counts.” Dkt. No. 204 at p. 2.

         Plaintiff now seeks leave to file a Second Amended Complaint to identify ten additional registered Nike trademarks that were included in the same 2009 shipments. Plaintiff provides no explanation for its failure to include the ten additional registered trademarks in its previous pleadings. Plaintiff also seeks leave to conduct additional “limited expedited discovery” focusing in particular on expert testimony pertaining to damages. Plaintiff, contending that its prior discovery efforts were not “focused solely” on damages, now seeks additional discovery to strengthen its claims for damages. Dkt. No. 223 at p. 5.

         II. DISCUSSION

         A. ...


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