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Meteoro Amusement Corp. v. Six Flags

United States District Court for the Northern District of New York
267 F. Supp. 2d 263 (N.D.N.Y. 2003)


Facts

Meteoro Amusement Corp. (Meteoro) (plaintiff) was incorporated in New Mexico, and its principal place of business was in Lansing, New York. Meteoro held a patent for an amusement park ride. Meteoro distributed videos of the ride to various companies, hoping to sell the technology. One company Meteoro contacted was Six Flags, Inc. (SFI) (defendant). SFI was a Delaware Corporation with its corporate offices in Oklahoma City. Subsequently, SFI announced the addition of a roller coaster at one of its theme parks that used similar technology. Meteoro filed suit for trademark infringement in federal court in the Northern District of New York. SFI moved for a change of venue under 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). SFI requested transfer to the Western District of Oklahoma, the Central District of California, or the Southern District of New York. Meteoro opposed the move, arguing that its forum selection should be given great weight. Meteoro’s key witness was its CEO and the technology’s inventor, John Mares, who lived in the Northern District of New York. Meteoro’s other witness lived in New Mexico. SFI planned to call numerous witnesses to testify about the design and manufacture of the roller coaster; all lived in Oklahoma or Utah. The roller coaster is located in the Central District of California, but the parties disagreed over whether the jury needed to see the roller coaster or simply videos and photographs. Each argued that their preferred venue would be more convenient. Further, Meteoro alleged that SFI had more money and could better bear the cost of the inconvenient venue.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (McCurn, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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