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Graphic Systems, Inc. v. Avanti Computer Systems Ltd.

United States District Court, D. Minnesota

March 12, 2018

GRAPHIC SYSTEMS, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
AVANTI COMPUTER SYSTEMS LIMITED, Defendant.

          Joseph A. Wentzell and James W. Moen, Wentzell Law Office, PLLC, Counsel for Plaintiff.

          Alana K. Bassin and Rachelle A. Velgersdyk, Bowman & Brooke LLP, Counsel for Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OF LAW & ORDER

          Michael J. Davis United States District Court

         I. INTRODUCTION

         This matter is before the Court on Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Plaintiff's Complaint. [Docket No. 10] The Court heard oral argument on March 8, 2018. Based on the forum selection clause in the License Agreement, this matter is dismissed for forum non conveniens.

         II. BACKGROUND

         1. Factual Background

         a) The Parties

         Plaintiff Graphic Systems, Inc. (“Graphic Systems”) is a Minnesota corporation with its principal place of business in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Compl. ¶ 1.) Graphic Systems provides grand format digital printing to retail sales companies. (Id. ¶ 5.)

         Defendant Avanti Computer Systems Limited (“Avanti”) is a Canadian company with its principal place of business in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Compl. ¶ 2.) Avanti provides computer software to digital printing companies. (Id. ¶ 9.) In particular, Avanti sells Slingshot, software used as a platform for a grand format printing system. (Id. ¶ 10.)

         b) The License Agreement

         During the spring of 2014, Avanti and Graphic Systems began discussions regarding Graphic Systems' software needs. (Compl. ¶ 11.) Prior to the parties entering into a contract, Avanti made representations regarding the capabilities of the Slingshot system and its compatibility with Graphic Systems' business. (Id. ¶¶ 13, 16.)

         On June 16, 2014, Graphic Systems and Avanti entered into a License Agreement for the use of Avanti's Slingshot management information system. (Compl. ¶ 15; Bassin Decl., Ex. A, License Agreement.) The License Agreement provides:

Governing Law. This Agreement is governed by the laws of the Province of Ontario and the federal laws of Canada applicable therein and, if the Licensed Programs were acquired within Canada, each of the parties hereto irrevocably attorns to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of the Province of Ontario without regard to conflicts of laws principles. If the Licensed Programs were acquired outside Canada, each of the parties hereto irrevocably attorns to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of the Province of Ontario, provided that the Licensee agrees that any claim or action brought by the Licensee shall be commenced in the courts of the ...

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