United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi, Aberdeen Division
RONALDO DESIGNER JEWELRY, INC. PLAINTIFF
JAMES B. COX and CATHERINE A. COX d/b/a JC DESIGNS d/b/a WIRE N RINGS and JOHN DOE a/k/a LEROY and JOHN DOES
M. BROWN, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court is Ronaldo Designer Jewelry Inc.'s
“Motion for Partial Dismissal of Defendants'
Counterclaim.” Doc. #92.
Relevant Procedural History
April 28, 2017, Ronaldo Designer Jewelry, Inc., with leave of
the Court, filed a second amended complaint against James and
Catherine Cox. Doc. #82. The three-count complaint seeks
injunctive and monetary relief for the Coxes' production
of jewelry which allegedly infringes on Ronaldo's
12, 2017, the Coxes answered the second amended complaint.
Doc. #87. The Coxes' answer includes fifteen
counterclaims: (1) “Trademark Infringement in Violation
of the Lanham Act” (Count I); (2) “False
Designation of Origin in Violation of the Lanham Act”
(Count II); (3) “Declaratory Judgment of Invalidity and
Unenforceability of Ronaldo Designer Jewelry, Inc.'s
Trade Dress” (Count III); (4) “Declaratory
Judgment of Non-Infringement of Trade Dress” (Count
IV); (5) “Declaratory Judgment of Invalidity and
Unenforceability of Copyright in Power of Prayer
Bracelet” (Count V); (6) “Declaratory Judgment of
Invalidity and Unenforceability of Copyright in Angelina
Bracelet” (Count VI); (7) “Declaratory Judgment
of Non-Infringement of Angelina Bracelet” (Count VII);
(8) “Declaratory Judgment of Non-Infringement of Power
of Prayer Bracelet” (Count VIII); (9) “Unfair
Competition in Violation of the Lanham Act” (Count IX);
(10) “Unjust Enrichment under Mississippi Common
Law” (Count X); (11) “Unfair Competition under
Mississippi Common Law” (Count XI); (12)
“Tortious Interference with Actual Business
Relations” (Count XII); (13) “Tortious
Interference with Prospective Business Relations”
(Count XIII); (14) “Deceptive Trade and Business
Practices in Violation of Mississippi Law” (Count XIV);
and (15) “Defamation/Slander” (Count XV).
16, 2017, after receiving a requested extension to respond to
the counterclaims, Ronaldo filed a motion to dismiss Counts
XI through XV of the Coxes' counterclaims for failure to
state a claim. Doc. #92. The Coxes responded in opposition to
the motion on June 29, 2017.
#95. Ronaldo replied on July 6, 2017. Doc. #96.
survive a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss, the complaint does
not need detailed factual allegations, but it must provide
the plaintiff's grounds for entitlement for
relief-including factual allegations that, when assumed to be
true, raise a right to relief above the speculative
level.” Ruiz v. Brennan, 851 F.3d 464, 468
(5th Cir. 2017). Under this standard, a court must
“accept all well-pleaded facts as true.” New
Orleans City v. Ambac Assurance Corp., 815 F.3d 196,
199-200 (5th Cir. 2016) (quotation marks omitted).
motion to dismiss, Ronaldo, referencing the Coxes'
specific allegations and relevant law, argues that: (1) Count
XI and Count XIV must be dismissed for lack of statutory
standing and failure to satisfy the relevant statute's
informal dispute resolution prerequisite; (2) Counts XII and
XIII must be dismissed for failure to plead the requirements
of tortious interference claims; and (3) Count XV must be
dismissed for failure to plead the elements of defamation or
slander with requisite specificity. Doc. #93.
response, the Coxes argue only:
Here, Mr. and Mrs. Cox believe that they have stated claims
upon which relief can be granted against Ronald Company in
their Counts XI through XV of their Counterclaims. They
believe the allegations stated in Counts XI through XV are
sufficient to place Ronaldo Company on notice of the asserted
counterclaims. They believe the allegations have satisfied
the requirements of Rule 8(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil
Procedure. Accordingly, Mr. and Mrs. Cox respectfully request
that the Court dismiss Ronaldo Company's Partial Motion
to Dismiss Counts XI through XV of the Counterclaims.
Alternatively, if the Court deems the information pled in the
Counterclaims to be ...