Poulsen Roser A/S v. Jackson & Perkins Wholesale, Inc., No. 10 C 1894, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Nov. 15, 2010) (St. Eve, J.).
Judge St. Eve denied plaintiff Pousen Rosen’s ("Poulsen") Fed. R. Civ. P. 59(e) and 60(b) motion for reconsideration of the Court’s decision dismissing the case as to the individual defendants for lack of personal jurisdiction in this Lanham Act case.
First, "new evidence" in the form of the District of South Carolina Bankruptcy Court’s order consolidating the corporate defendants was irrelevant and did not alter the Court’s analysis. The Bankruptcy Court made no finding regarding the relationship between the corporate and individual defendants.
Second, the Court reconsidered and upheld its analysis regarding the corporate defendants’ internet contacts. The Seventh Circuit rejected the Zippo case’s sliding scale for internet-based jurisdiction because of the possibility of creating universal jurisdiction:
We note the legitimate concern that "[p]remising personal jurisdiction on the maintenance of a website, without requiring some level of "interactivity" between the defendant and consumers in the forum state, would create almost universal jurisdiction because of the virtually unlimited accessibility of websites across the country." Jennings, 383 F.3d at 550. Courts should be careful in resolving questions about personal jurisdiction involving on-line contacts to ensure that a defendant is not haled into court simply because the defendant owns or operates a website that is accessible in the forum state, even if that site is "interactive."
Illinois v. Hemi Group LLC,
__ F.3d __, 2010 WL 3547647, at *6 (7th Cir. 2010).
Trading Techs., Intl., Inc. v. BGC Partners, Inc., No. 10 C 715, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Aug. 17, 2010) (Kendall, J.).
Judge Kendall denied defendant BGC Partners’ ("BGC") motion to dismiss as moot because of plaintiff Trading Technologies’ ("TT’s") subsequently filed amended complaint. Courts routinely deny without prejudice motions to dismiss when an amended complaint is filed, but this case was unique because TT opposed dismissal. TT argued that BGC’s improper service argument should be dismissed with prejudice and the remaining arguments should be heard to avoid delay because TT continued asserting similar claims in the amended complaint. The service arguments were, however, moot because BGC did not make the service arguments in response to the amended complaint.
The Court also denied the motion to dismiss without prejudice as to the remaining arguments. While the claims may have remained factually similar, BGC’s arguments went to jurisdiction, not the sufficiency of the facts. Furthermore, the amended complaint added several new defendants. BGC and the other defendants would have been prejudiced if they were not given the opportunity to review the amended complaint and to collectively decide how to address any jurisdiction or venue issues.
Merrill Primack v. Polto, Inc., No. 08 C 4539, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Jul. 8, 2010) (Dow, J.).
Judge Dow granted defendants’ Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(2) motion to dismiss this Lanham Act case over plaintiff’s "Credit Lifeline" mark for lack of personal jurisdiction. Plaintiff did not claim general jurisdiction, relying only upon specific jurisdiction. Defendants’ only Illinois contacts were the sale of 212 books unrelated to the Credit Lifeline mark into Illinois. And defendants’ offer for sale of its Credit Lifeline book via an interactive website could not alone create specific jurisdiction. Similarly, injury to intellectual property alone did not create jurisdiction based upon the effects test. Harm to the plaintiff in the jurisdiction did not satisfy the test by itself. Defendant’s actions must have been intentional, aimed at the forum state and defendant had to know that plaintiff’s harm was likely to be suffered. But there was no indication that defendant was even aware of plaintiffs’ Credit Lifeline mark, or of plaintiff, from defendant’s first use of the mark in 2001 until, at the earliest, when plaintiff registered its mark in 2008.
Finally, the Court held that there was no persuasive reason that exercising personal jurisdiction would have comported with "fair play and substantial justice."