Friday, November 18, 2005

D.R.I. Holds That Infringing Cybersquatter Did Not Purposefully Avail Itself of State of Trademark Holder

A federal court in Rhode Island has held that an alleged cybersquatter and trademark infringer did not purposefully avail itself of the forum state simply by virtue of the forum's status as the plaintiff's home state (Subsalve USA Corp. v. Watson Mfg., Inc., 392 F.Supp.2d 221 (D.R.I. Sept. 29, 2005)). Thus, the court declined to exercise personal jurisdiction over the defendant in the case:

It is well settled, however, that “[t]he mere existence of a website does not show that a defendant is directing its business activities towards every forum where the website is visible.” McBee v. Delica Co., Ltd., 417 F.3d 107, 124 (1st Cir.2005). Furthermore, “given the omnipresence of Internet websites today, allowing personal jurisdiction to be premised on such a contact alone would ‘eviscerate’ the limits on a state's jurisdiction over out-of-state or foreign defendants.” Id.; see also Swarovski, 2003 WL 22014581, at *8 (holding that interactive website did not satisfy purposeful availment prong where defendant (1) did not specifically target Rhode Islanders or assert that it had unique connection with Rhode Island, (2) made no sales to Rhode Island residents, and (3) had no other contacts with Rhode Island).


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