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Boston is …. Dunkin’ Proud?

It was a novel argument.

We’ve heard of Boston Strong and Boston Proud. Now there’s evidence that Boston is “Dunkin’ proud” – so proud to host the Dunkin’ Donuts brand that it’s the best place for Dunkin’ to defend a federal lawsuit.

Dunkin’ Brands Group Inc., owner of Dunkin’ Donuts and Baskin Robbins, is based outside Boston. Dunkin’ is defending a patent suit filed by DietGoal Innovations LLC.

DietGoal filed the suit in a Texas federal court, but Dunkin’ moved for a change of venue to Boston federal court. Dunkin’ hit the usual marks for such a motion: witness convenience, access to sources of proof, availability of compulsory process for witnesses.

And then there’s old-fashioned civic pride.

“Dunkin’ argues that the District of Massachusetts has a substantial connection to this case because Dunkin’ is headquartered there,” wrote the Texas federal magistrate judge.

“Bostonians and other Massachusetts residents have taken great pride in their association with Dunkin’ Brands since 1950,” Dunkin’ told the court.

Being donut-proud was not enough to make the case for sending the suit to Massachusetts. In fact, it wound up in Alexandria federal court.

The Texas court said the Eastern District of Virginia had a “strong localized interest in the case because it is the situs of the inventive activity,” and home to the “entity formed to commercialize and practice the invention (DietFit).”

According to online reports, plaintiff DietGoal Innovations has filed a number of patent infringement suits against food-industry defendants.
–Deborah Elkins

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