Bar Journal - December 1, 2000
Personal Jurisdiction and the Internet
By: Attorney Roy S. McCandless1 & Melissa C. Guldbrandsen
With the proliferation of Internet activity (90 million users; Northern Light Technology, Inc. v. Northern Lights Club, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4732 (D. Mass. 2000)), and web sites ranging from those offering general information to those engaging in business transactions, the prospect of being haled into court in a foreign jurisdiction based on Internet contacts looms large. What rules govern? To date, the First Circuit (except for a per curiam affirmation in Gifford noted below) and the New Hampshire Supreme Court have not reported any cases dealing with Internet contacts forming the basis for personal jurisdiction. The New Hampshire United States District Court has recently spoken on the issue, preferring an analysis firmly based on the familiar concepts of "due process" and "minimum contacts" which undergird the traditional constitutional analysis.
I. GENERAL PRINCIPLES
Before exercising personal jurisdiction over a defendant, courts must determine whether a defendant has certain "minimum contacts" with the forum "such that the maintenance of the suit [there] does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.’" International Shoe Co. v. State of Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 316 (1945).
Contacts with a forum are measured through the defendant’s activities in the forum: "to the extent that a corporation exercises the privilege of conducting activities within a state, it enjoys the benefits and protection of the laws of that state," id. at 319, making it reasonable for the defendant to expect that he could face litigation in that state, particularly where the litigation arises from the contacts with the state. Id. (the state of Washington sought to require the out-of-state shoe company to contribute to its state unemployment compensation fund — company had commission-based salesmen in the state). The International Shoe court also recognized in its dicta that in some cases a defendant might have so many contacts with a forum that it would be permissible for a court sitting in that forum to exercise jurisdiction over the defendant even for a case wholly unrelated to the forum. Id. at 318; see also Perkins v. Benguet Consolidated Mining Co., 342 U.S. 437 (1952). However, it was not until 1984, in a trilogy of cases argued on the same day, that the Supreme Court identified these two veins of analysis as belonging to "specific" and "general" jurisdiction. See Helicopteros Nacionales de Columbia v. Hall, 466 U.S. 408, 414-15 and footnotes 8 and 9 (1984).
II. THE THREE-PART SUBSTANTIVE ANALYSIS
When approaching a question of personal jurisdiction, the court analyzes three issues:
- whether the state long-arm statute authorizes jurisdiction;
- whether the defendant has sufficient minimum contacts with the forum such that the exercise of jurisdiction does not offend due process; and
- whether, considering factors that the First Circuit has dubbed the "Gestalt" factors, the exercise of personal jurisdiction is reasonable. Noonan v. The Winston Company, 135 F.3d 85, 89 (1st Cir. 1998).
If, in analyzing the second step, the court finds that the contacts between the defendant and the forum "do not exist in sufficient abundance, that is, if the constitutionally necessary . . . minimum is lacking, the inquiry ends. If, however, the minimum exists, the [Gestalt] criteria . . . must be assessed in order to determine the constitutionality, in the particular circumstances, of an exercise of jurisdiction." Sandstrom v. Chemlawn Corp., 904 F.2d 83, 88-89 (1st Cir. 1990).
A. The New Hampshire Long-Arm Statute
A review of general jurisdiction cases indicates that almost without exception they involve defendants that are corporations. When this is the case, analysis under the New Hampshire long-arm statute is unnecessary because New Hampshire has indicated its willingness to allow personal jurisdiction over corporate entities to the fullest extent permissible by the constitution. Phelps v. Kingston, 130 N.H. 166, 171 (1987); RSA 293-A:15.01 et seq.
Cases that involve individuals as defendants will require analysis under RSA 510:4. The First Circuit and New Hampshire District Court follow the language in the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s opinion in Estabrook v. Wetmore, 129 N.H. 520, 523 (1987): "This court has consistently interpreted [RSA 510:4] to grant jurisdiction whenever the due process clause of the United States Constitution permits it." Thus, they pass over this arm of the inquiry. See Phillips Exeter Academy v. Howard Phillips Fund Inc., 196 F.3d 284,287 (1st Cir. 1999); Sawtelle v. Farrelle, 70 F.3d 1381, 1388 (1st Cir. 1995); Dagesse v. Plant Hotel, N.V., 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1073, Civil No. 98-713-B. opinion No. 200 DNH 009 (D. N. H. January 5, 2000); Gray v. St. Martin’s Press, Inc., 929 F. Supp. 40, 44 (D.N.H. 1996). Interestingly, the New Hampshire Supreme Court still in some cases engages in review under the long-arm statute. See, e.g., Mosier v. Kinley, 142 N.H. 415, 419 (1997).
B. Minimum Contacts, General Jurisdiction, and Specific Jurisdiction
The concept of "general jurisdiction" applies where the plaintiff’s claims do not arise from or relate to the defendant’s contacts with the forum. Helicopteros Nacionales, 466 U.S. at 415, n. 9. The standard for general jurisdiction is considerably stricter than that for specific jurisdiction, where a single contact may suffice for jurisdiction relating directly to that contact. Pritzker v. Yari, 42 F.3d 53, 61 (1st Cir. 1994). The contacts required to justify an assertion of general jurisdiction must be "continuous and systematic." see Glater v. Eli Lilly & Co., 744 F.2d 213, 216 (1st Cir. 1984) (citing Perkins, 342 U.S. at 448). In effect, general jurisdiction may only be maintained where the defendant carries out "a continuous and systematic, but limited, part of its general business" in the forum, such that the exercise of jurisdiction is "reasonable and just." Perkins, 342 U.S. at 438, 445. The minimum contacts analysis is primary: "unless the defendant has some cognizable contacts with the proposed forum, the court cannot assert general jurisdiction" regardless of whether the Gestalt factors would counsel in favor or against jurisdiction. Sandstrom, 904 F.2d at 89.
When general jurisdiction does not attach, then the court will focus on whether specific jurisdiction exists. Specific personal jurisdiction may be asserted where the cause of action arises directly out of, or relates to the defendant’s forum-based contacts. Massachusetts School of Law at Andover, Inc. v. American Bar Ass’n, 142 F.3d 26, 35 (1st Cir. 1998); cert. denied, 522 U.S. 907 (1999); Foster-Miller, Inc. v. Babcock and Wilcox Canada, 46 F.3d 138, 144 (1st Cir. 1995); Pritzker v. Yari, 42 F.3d 53, 60 (1st Cir. 1994); United Electrical Radio and Machine Workers of America v. 163 Pleasant Street Corp, 960 F.2d 1080, 1088-89 (1st. Cir. 1992). In determining the constitutionality of asserting specific jurisdiction, the court looks at three factors: (1) whether the claim arises out of or is directly related to forum activities; (2) whether the in-state contacts represent a purposeful availment of the privilege of conducting activities in the forum state, thereby invoking the benefits and protections of that state’s laws, and making the defendant’s involuntary presence in the forum’s courts foreseeable; and (3) whether the exercise of jurisdiction is reasonable under the Gestalt factors. Sawtelle, 70 F.3d at 1388.
The contacts that count, for jurisdictional purposes, are only those that are purposeful, or intentional, and that are made by the defendant itself -- both the Supreme Court and the First Circuit have made clear that the acts of a third party that are not within the control of the defendant will not suffice to ground jurisdiction. Asahi Metal Industry Co. v. Superior Court of California, 480 U.S. 102 (1987); Boit v. Gar-Tec Prods., 967 F.2d 671 (1st Cir. 1992) (First Circuit will follow the O’Connor plurality opinion in Asahi which holds that mere injection of a product into the stream of commerce without more will not suffice for jurisdiction); Donatelli v. National Hockey League, 893 F.2d 459 (1st Cir. 1990) (discussing how this standard will be applied in the context of corporations, partnerships, and unincorporated associations).
C. The Gestalt Factors
If and only if the court finds that there has been a sufficient minimal showing of purposeful contacts by the defendant with the forum, the court moves on to test the facts of the case under the so-called "Gestalt" factors. Sandstrom, 904 F.2d 83, 89 (1st Cir. 1990). These factors are used to determine whether in any specific case the assertion of personal jurisdiction is both fair and reasonable, and are considered on a sliding scale: where the showing on the minimum contacts prong has been barely adequate, the plaintiff must make a solid showing on reasonableness for the court to retain jurisdiction. Faigin v. Kelly, 919 F. Supp. 526, 533 (D.N.H. 1996). Conversely, where the minimum contacts showing is strong, the Gestalt factors must show that it is truly unreasonable to subject the defendant to jurisdiction before the court will dismiss on those grounds. Gray, 929 F. Supp. at 49. These factors are:
- the defendant’s burden of appearing in the forum (one of the most important considerations, see Faigin, 919 F. Supp. at 533);
- the forum state’s interest in adjudicating the dispute (generally this is at issue where a New Hampshire resident has been harmed, see Phelps v. Kingston, 130 N.H. 166, 175 (1987));
- the plaintiff’s interest in obtaining convenient relief (less important where the plaintiff is not a New Hampshire resident, although the federal district court has indicated that procedural/substantive law concerns may rightfully influence a plaintiff’s choice of the New Hampshire forum, see Gray 929 F. Supp. at 49);
- the judicial system’s interest in obtaining the most effective resolution of the controversy (generally at issue in specific types of cases, such as defamation actions, see Gray, 929 F. Supp. at 49); and
- the common interests of all sovereigns in promoting substantive social policies (not generally a critical factor).
United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America v. 163 Pleasant Street Corp., 960 F.2d 1080 (1st Cir. 1992), citing Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 477 (1985).
III. PERSONAL JURISDICTION AND INTERNET CONTACTS
How do these traditional concepts of personal jurisdiction fit in Cyberspace, where a "local" business can have worldwide contacts through its web site? That issue and others have sparked a global study by the American Bar Association focusing on potential jurisdictional conflicts affecting online commerce and their resolution (the ABA’s Global Cyberspace Jurisdiction Project). "Achieving Legal and Business Order in Cyberspace," The Business Lawyer, Vol. 55, No. 4, 1801 (August 2000) (hereinafter the "ABA Project").
Most courts agree that simply maintaining a web site alone should not subject a defendant to jurisdiction in a distant forum. See Zippo Mfg. Co. v. Zippo Dot Com, Inc., 952 F. Supp. 1119 (W.D. Pa. 1997); but see Inset Systems, Inc. v. Instruction Set, Inc., 937 F. Supp. 161, 164 (D. Conn. 1996) (finding jurisdiction over out- of-state defendant based solely on Internet advertising accessible in the forum; this case has been roundly criticized and, thankfully, not followed). The operation of a web site in addition to other contacts with the forum, however, has been found sufficient to allow exercise of jurisdiction. See, e.g., CompuServe v. Patterson, 89 F.3d 1257 (6th Cir. 1996) (consistent repeated contacts by the defendant with the other party via the Internet along with two executed agreements with the plaintiff which stated that the contracts were entered into in the forum state and that the forum’s law governed were enough contact to meet due process requirement).
Courts often analyze the jurisdictional issue in the context of the degree of "interactivity" and commercial nature of the defendant’s web site, classifying the site into one of three categories to assist in determining whether the defendant has purposely availed itself of the privilege of doing business in the forum. See Zippo Mfg. Co. v. Zippo Dot Com, Inc., 952 F. Supp. 1119 (W.D. Pa. 1997) (delineating the interactivity analysis); Molnlycke Healthcare AB v. Dumex Med. Surgical Prods. Ltd., 64 F. Supp. 2d 448, 452 (E.D. Pa. 1999) (general jurisdiction not present even though defendant’s web site allowed customer to order online); American Homecare Fed.’n v. Paragon Scientific Corp., 27 F. Supp. 2d 109, 114 (D. Conn. 1998) (web site and toll-free number insufficient for specific jurisdiction).
Under the interactivity rubric, "passive" web sites are those which merely provide information about a company or product. These typically do not lend themselves to conferring jurisdiction. See, e.g., Cybersell v. Cybersell, Inc., 130 F.3d 414, 418 (9th Cir. 1997); Santana Products, Inc. v. Bobrick Washroom Equipment, 14 F. Supp. 2d 710 (M.D. Pa. 1998); Transcraft Corp. v. Doonan Trailer Corp., No. 97C4943, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18687 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 12, 1997) (advertising and inviting email response for more information without additional evidence specifically tying email to forum residents not enough to establish jurisdiction; plaintiff must show evidence that establishes a specific intent to reach forum customers for the contacts to have any weight).
At the other range of the interactivity scale are cases where defendants clearly engage in business through their web site, such as entering into contracts and repeatedly transmitting computer files over the Internet. See Mink v. AAAA Dev. LLC, 190 F. 3d 333 (5th Cir. 1999); Weber v. Jolly Hotels, 977 F. Supp. 327, 332-33 (D.N.J. 1997) (discussing case law analyzing web interactivity; here, defendant hotel merely placed information on web site). The more activity on the web site, transaction of survey and contact between the web site operator and users in the forum, the more likely jurisdiction will be found. See, e.g., Telco Communications Group, Inc. v. An Apple A Day, Inc., 977 F. Supp. 404 (E.D. Va. 1997).
The "middle ground" or the intermediately interactive web site presents the most difficulty in analyzing whether personal jurisdiction lies in a particular forum. The court focuses on the level of interactivity and the commercial nature of the exchange to determine whether exercising personal jurisdiction is proper. See, e.g., GTE New Media Services, Inc. v. BellSouth Corp., 199 F.3d 1343 (D.C. Cir. 2000); Agar Corp., Inc. v. Multi-Fluid, Inc., No. 95-5105, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17121 (S.D. Tex. June 25, 1997). The ABA Project opines that the difficulty in determining where to draw the jurisdictional line in this massive gray area lies in the failure of the courts to focus on why the nature of a defendant’s web site is important to the jurisdictional question. ABA Project, 55 The Business Lawyer at 1853. Merely pigeon-holing the defendant’s web site as intermediately interactive does not settle the question; rather, the court must focus on the how the web site’s contacts relate to and inform the traditional due process and minimum contacts analysis. E.g., GTE New Media, 199 F.3d 1343.
In American Eyewear, Inc. v. Peeper’s Sunglassesses and Accessories, INC., 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6875 (N.D Tex. 2000), the court concluded that a "middle of the continuum" web site provided sufficient contacts with Texas to establish specific jurisdiction. In that case, users of the defendant’s web site interacted with defendant’s employees by submitting order forms and payment information over the internet. See id. Additionally, the defendant shipped products to Texas and "attempt[ed] to reach every person, including all Texans, who have Internet access and to provide them with the opportunity to purchase [defendant’s] products from anywhere." Id. at 17-18. Because plaintiff’s harm (unfair competition and trademark infringement) arose out of defendant’s contact, the court concluded specific jurisdiction was proper. Id. Similarly, in Daimler-Benz Aktiengesellschaft v. Olson, 2000 Tex. App. LEXIS 1829, (Tex. App. 3rd Dist. 2000), the court analyzed a middle ground, interactive web site where users could submit questions and comments to the defendant. Although the defendant did not enter any contracts through the web site, the court considered the site as a factor in addition to other (non-Internet) contacts to support the exercise of general jurisdiction. Id.
Will transacting business on the Internet subject entities to national and world-wide jurisdiction? See American Network v. Access Am., 975 F. Supp. 494, 499 (S.D.N.Y. 1997) (nationwide advertising on the web touting ability to help customers "across the U.S." supports reasonable foreseeability of suit in New York); Hasbro Inc. v. Clue Computing, Inc., 994 F. Supp. 34, 39 (D. Mass. 1997) (discussing various ways courts have analyzed web activities and expressing — doubtfully — potential for possible worldwide jurisdiction). The question should turn on the defendant’s actual dealings through its web site. Those defendants who target a forum with web activities or who purposely deal with persons or businesses from another forum through their web site in order to conduct business should appreciate that along with the possible economic benefits of such dealings comes the risk of having to submit to the jurisdiction of the targeted forum.
Courts often look for more than just an Internet presence and a desire to do business over the Internet to establish jurisdiction over a defendant. Many of the cases involve "bad acts" committed by way of the Internet or in the actual operation of the web site. See, e.g. Panavision International, L.P. v. Toeppen, 141 F.3d 1316 (9th Cir. 1998) (discussed infra). Thus, courts are more willing to find that jurisdiction is proper when a party uses a web site to commit a trademark or patent violation, the effects of which will be felt primarily in the forum. This follows closely the analysis adopted by the Supreme Court in Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783 (1984), where jurisdiction was upheld against an out-of-state defendant who was never physically present in the forum, but whose intentional conduct (i.e., libel) was targeted at the plaintiff in the forum, where the defendant knew the intended harm would be felt.
A. Internet Jurisdiction Opinions Involving Courts in the First Circuit
To date, the United States Supreme Court, the First Circuit Court of Appeals (except for a per curiam affirmation in Gifford noted below) and the New Hampshire Supreme Court have not reported any cases dealing with Internet contacts forming the basis for personal jurisdiction. The New Hampshire United States District Court has addressed the issue in a detailed and careful opinion which focused squarely on the types and purposes of contacts the defendant initiated with New Hampshire, following closely the traditional concepts undergirding the constitutional analysis as applied to the realm of the defendant’s Internet activities.
In Dagesse v. Plant Hotel N.V., 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1073, Civil No. 98-713-B, Opinion No. 2000 DNH 009 (D. N.H. 2000) (Barbadoro, C.J.), the court undertook an extensive analysis of whether a defendant’s Internet web site created general jurisdiction over it in New Hampshire. The court, after reviewing caselaw from other jurisdictions, decided that the proper analysis of the jurisdictional effects of an Internet web site "must focus on whether the defendant has actually and deliberately used its web site to conduct commercial transactions or other activities with residents of the forum." Id. at 27. The only evidence presented by plaintiffs was that the defendant maintained an Internet web site that was accessible from New Hampshire. Since the plaintiffs failed to present evidence that the defendant used its web site to do business or otherwise interact with New Hampshire residents, they failed to meet their burden to demonstrate general jurisdiction over the defendant. See id. Judge Barbadoro emphasized that the "traditional" due process/minimum contacts analysis applies to Internet contacts.
In Northern Light Technology, Inc. v. Northern Lights Club, 97 F. Supp. 2d 96, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4732 (D. Mass. 2000), the court held that exercising personal jurisdiction was proper where a Canadian organization allegedly infringed upon the trademark of a Massachusetts corporation. The court first analyzed the Massachusetts long-arm statute and concluded that although the defendants did not enter commercial relations with Massachusetts residents, the defendant committed a "tortious injury by an act or omission in [the] commonwealth." Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 223A §3(c). The court supported its conclusion by noting that the allegedly infringing material entered the commonwealth, and that the defendant knew of the potential infringement and had a goal of doing business with residents of the commonwealth. See Northern Light Technology, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4732. The court further concluded that defendants’ contacts with the forum met the minimum contacts analysis required by the Constitution, noting that the existence of a web site must be supplemented with a "desire to do business in the pertinent state." Id. at 29. The defendant demonstrated an intention to do business in Massachusetts by: (1) providing links on its web site for users interested in advertising on the site; (2) sending allegedly infringing data into the commonwealth, and (3) specifically seeking business relations with plaintiff. See id. Lastly, the court concluded that the five Gestalt factors, taken together, weighed in favor of exercising jurisdiction. See id.
In Brill v. AlliedSignal, Inc. No. 98-11789-D.P.W (D. Mass., July 2, 1999), the court dismissed the Massachusetts plaintiffs’ claims against an Oklahoma Aircraft Engine Maintenance Company for injuries sustained after a plane equipped with a malfunctioning engine previously serviced by the company crashed while plaintiffs were flying in Canada. The court found that merely maintaining a web site that could be accessed from Massachusetts, which also published a client list that included a company with a branch office in Massachusetts, did not meet the minimum contact test. Id. slip p. at 11, 13.
In Gifford v. Bruce Strumpf, Inc., Civ. No. 97-70-B, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11876 (D. Me. Aug. 7, 1997), affirmed per curiam, 141 F.3d 1149 (1st Cir. 1998), the court found that the "mere posting on the Internet of information that is accessible to non-resident users is insufficient, without more, to confer personal jurisdiction."
In Figawi, Inc. v. Horan, 16 F. Supp. 2d 74 (D. Mass. 1998), the court concluded that the defendant’s web site advertising along with newspaper advertising and merchandising sales in Massachusetts did not constitute doing business in Massachusetts.
In Digital Equipment Corp. v. Altavista Technology, Inc., 960 F. Supp. 456 (D. Mass. 1997), the court found jurisdiction over the defendant although it did not have many sales in Massachusetts or transact other business there. The defendant did, however, seek business in Massachusetts and made three sales through its web site. The alleged trademark infringement occurred on the web site; the plaintiff was harmed (under trademark law) by the very offering of the infringing work. The tort occurred, therefore, in Massachusetts, creating jurisdiction under the long arm statute. Due process was met because the defendant targeted a national audience and did do some business in Massachusetts.
In Hasbro v. Clue Computing, Inc., 994 F. Supp. 34 (D. Mass. 1997), the court found that the use of a web site which advertises the defendant’s ability to conduct business anywhere was sufficient to meet Massachusetts’s long arm statute requirement that a defendant regularly solicit business within the commonwealth. The court noted that advertising on a web site is like placing goods in the stream of commerce. Web advertising, therefore, coupled with evidence that the defendant intended its advertising to reach citizens in the forum, argues for jurisdiction under the "doing business" prong of the long arm statute.
B. Cases From Other Jurisdictions
The cases involving Internet contacts to justify jurisdiction are legion. As noted by the ABA Project, however, if judges would step back from the novelty of the technology and analyze the fact patterns in light of established jurisdictional principles, many if not all of the cases would fall generally within the contours of established precedent. ABA Project, 55 The Business Lawyer at 1842.
In Panavision International, L.P. v. Toeppen, 141 F.3d 1316 (9th Cir. 1998), defendant Toeppen registered the name "panavision.com" as an Internet domain name. The court noted that merely registering someone else’s trademark as a domain name and posting a web site is not sufficient to subject a party domiciled in one state to jurisdiction in another. See 141 F.3d. at 1322. Here, however, the defendant engaged in a scheme to register Panavision’s trademarks as his domain name in order to extort money from Panavision. Toeppen knew that his conduct was likely to injure Panavision in California, its principal place of business. Therefore, the effects of the conduct were felt in California and jurisdiction was proper. Id; see also Blumenthal v. Drudge, 992 F. Supp. 44 (D.C. 1998); but See No-Mayo — San Francisco v. Memminger, No. C -98-1392 PJH, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13154 (D. N. Cal. August 19, 1998) (distinguishing Panavision in a domain name case and finding no jurisdiction over the defendant because he merely registered a domain name and used it over the Internet but had no "cyber piracy" in mind; there was, therefore, no purposeful targeting of the forum state). In these cases, "[h]ad the Internet not been involved, a one line cite to Calder [v. Jones] would have sufficed." ABA Project, The Business Lawyer at 1844.
The act of maintaining a web site, along with enrolling customers on the web site and shipping software to those customers, was found to be sufficient activity in a forum to confer personal jurisdiction over the defendant in American Network, Inc. v. Access Am./Connect Atlanta, Inc., 975 F. Supp. 494 (S.D.N.Y. 1997). See also Zippo Mfg. Co. v. Zippo Dot Com, Inc., 952 F. Supp. 1119, 1123 (W.D. Pa. 1997) (entering into seven contracts with Internet access providers in Pennsylvania and selling passwords to 3,000 forum state residents equals purposeful availment of the forum); Compuserve, Inc. v. Patterson, 89 F.3d 1257, 1264 (6th Cir. 1996) (entering into contract with the plaintiff involving ongoing business relations and which explicitly incorporated Ohio law, marketing products over the plaintiff’s web site, and distributing products through the web site supported jurisdiction over defendant in Ohio). Use of the Internet to operate a web site and to send numerous e-mails to one individual resulted in a finding of purposeful availment of the forum’s laws when the end goal and the subject to the litigation was the formation of a business in the forum. Resuscitation Technologies, Inc. v. Continental Healthcare Corp., No. IP 96-1457-C-M/S, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3523 (S.D. Ind. Mar. 24, 1997) (although contact between parties began over the Internet, the defendant emailed, telephoned, sent regular mail and faxed the plaintiff; Internet contacts formed one aspect of many forum contacts). These cases generally fall in line with the Supreme Court’s analysis in Burger King v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 479-80 (1985), where the purposeful alignment of the defendant with a Florida-based business partner in a long-term and detailed business relationship justified exercising jurisdiction over the defendant in Florida although the defendant was not physically present in the forum.
In one case involving the trademark of a famous New York nightclub, a Missouri nightclub using the same name advertised on its web site for sale of tickets in its city. The web site referred to but distinguished itself from the plaintiff’s club. The court found that jurisdiction was improper under the New York long arm statute and went on to note that merely putting forth information about an allegedly infringing product on the Internet, without more, was not enough to find the party targeted a product at the forum. Bensusan Restaurant Corp. v. King, 937 F. Supp. 295, 297-98, 301 (S.D.N.Y. 1996), affirmed 126 F.3d 25 (2d Cir. 1997). Similarly, merely accessing a database in a distant forum without more substantial activity is not sufficient to establish jurisdiction. Pre-Kap, Inc. v. System One, Direct Access, Inc., 636 So. 2d 1351 (Fla. App.), review denied, 645 So. 2d 455 (Fla. 1994); The Hearst Corp. v. Goldberger, No. 96Civ. 3620, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2065 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 26, 1997 (maintaining a web site is like advertising in a national publication, following Bensusan; expressing fear that upholding jurisdiction in such a case would create national, if not worldwide, jurisdiction).
These cases echo the concerns expressed by the Supreme Court in Asahi Metal Industry Co. v. Superior Court, 480 U.S. 102 (1987), that the mere placement of a product in the stream of commerce, without more, is not sufficient to meet the due process requirements to establish jurisdiction over a defendant. Compare, Inset Systems, Inc. v. Instruction Set, Inc., 937 F. Supp. 161, 164-65 (D. Conn. 1996) ("advertising via the Internet is solicitation of a sufficient repetitive nature" to allow jurisdiction); Minnesota v. Granite Gate Resorts, Inc., 576 N.W.2d 747 (Minn. 1998) (jurisdiction proper since out of state defendant made its web site available and was actually accessed by Minnesota residents for gambling).
In at least one case, the court found jurisdiction over defendant to meet the minimum contact prong of the due process analysis, yet still found the exercise of personal jurisdiction unreasonable. Expert Pages v. Buckalew, No. C-97-2109-VRW, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12205 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 6, 1997). The defendant copied a portion of plaintiff’s web site to his own web site, and thus directed activities at the plaintiff in its residence. Although this was enough to establish jurisdiction, the court found it unreasonable to force the defendant, an individual residing in Virginia, to defend the claim by the company in California where the court noted that Virginia was a more than adequate alternative forum and it would be easier for the plaintiff to sue in Virginia rather than for the defendant to defend in California. Id. at *10.
C. General Jurisdiction
Most cases involve specific claims involving situations where the web site was in some way a part of the cause of action. Few cases have dealt with attempts to obtain general jurisdiction over a defendant by using the defendant’s presence on the Internet as a jurisdictional basis for hearing completely unrelated claims. In many such cases, the courts have found that the mere existence of a web site too tenuous to confer jurisdiction. See, Dagesse, supra; Weber v. Jolly Hotels, 977 F. Supp 327 (D. N. J. 1997); Gifford, supra, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11876; Smith v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 968 F. Supp. 1356, 1365 (W.D. Ark. 1997) (dismissing case against Hong Kong defendant who maintained a web site but did not contract to sell goods to any forum citizens; advertising that did appear on web site was not directed at forum residents); McDonough v. Fallon McElligott, Inc., No. 95-4037, 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15139 (S.D. Cal. 1996) (web site cannot establish jurisdiction by itself; rejecting proposition that web site is purposefully directed at a national audience).
D. New Hampshire Long Arm Statute Considerations
Although one might question the need to resort to New Hampshire’s long-arm statute since both the federal court and the New Hampshire Supreme Court consistently interpret RSA 510:4 to grant jurisdiction to the same extent as permitted by the federal due process clause (Estabrook, 129 N.H. at 523), the practitioner might benefit by looking to that statute as a lens through which to analyze the strength of Internet contacts to establish jurisdiction.
1. Transacting Business in the State
If an out-of-state corporation makes sales through a web site to New Hampshire residents, this may constitute transacting business in New Hampshire. See, e.g., Dagesse, supra, slip op. at 27 (specifically requiring evidence of commercial transactions with New Hampshire residents); Digital Equipment Corp. v. Altavista Technology, Inc., 960 F. Supp. 456, 464-65 (D. Mass. 1997) (analyzing web contract sales activities under Massachusetts long arm statute). Note that in the Digital Equipment Corp. case, the court specifically emphasized that the sales to Massachusetts residents were closely connected to a contract governed by Massachusetts law which regulated the defendant’s web site and use of the plaintiff’s trademark for Cyberspace commerce. There was more, therefore, than just a few sales over the Internet to Massachusetts residents.
Similarly, if the cause of action arises out of advertising which exists on the web site but is targeted at residents in the forum, that may form a basis for a jurisdiction under the transacting business prong of the long arm statute. See, e.g., Digital Equipment Corp. v. Altavista Technology, Inc., 960 F. Supp. at 466 and note n. 20 (television broadcasts directed to forum from which the cause of action arises can support jurisdiction, citing Indianapolis Colts, Inc. v. Metropolitan Baltimore Football Club, Ltd. Partnership, 34 F.3d 410, 412 (7th Cir. 1994)).
If a contract is formed through the Internet, such activity may create a basis for jurisdiction in New Hampshire, particularly if connected with other contacts with the state. See, e.g., Digital Equipment Corp. v. Altavista Technology, Inc., 960 F. Supp. at 466 (three sales over the Internet and other contacts – solicitation, advertising — meet Massachusetts long-arm doing business test).
2. Tort Caused in the State
If a web site contains false, misleading, or defamatory information and, as a result, causes harm in New Hampshire, there may be jurisdiction under the long arm statute. See, e.g., Digital Equipment Corp. v. Altavista Technology, Inc., 960 F. Supp. at 466-67 (the Court found that although the defendant’s web site did not singularly transmit the tortious communication into Massachusetts (here the illegal use of a trademark on the web site), it "knew" that Massachusetts residents had access to the web site in Massachusetts.) Taking no steps to prevent the alleged infringements from reaching the commonwealth’s citizens, the Court found that the defendant plainly intended to market its wares there and committed a tortious act in the commonwealth. Id.
Two other federal district courts have applied the Calder v. Jones, 465 U.S. 783 (1984), standard in analyzing the tortious effects of defamatory statements in the forum, Amway Corporation v. The Proctor & Gamble Company, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 372 (W.D. Mich. 2000), and Bailey v. Turbine Design, Inc., 86 F. Supp. 2d 790, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2538 (W.D. Tenn. 2000). Both courts noted that the long arm statutes of their forums, like New Hampshire’s long arm statute, extend to the jurisdictional limits of the due process clause. The Amway court noted that the defendant’s web site was passive but stated that "something more" such as satisfying the Calder "effects doctrine" would support exercising personal jurisdiction. See 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 372 at 9-10 (citing Cybersell Inc. v. Cybersell Inc., 130 F.3d. 414 (9th Cir. 1997); Panavision Int’l, L.P. v. Toeppen, 141 F.3d 1316 (9th Cir. 1998)). The court identified three elements of the Calder effects test: 1) defendant committed an intentional tort; 2) plaintiff felt the brunt of the harm in the forum; 3) defendant expressly aimed the tortious conduct at the forum, and concluded that the defendant intended to defame the plaintiff, that the plaintiff suffered the brunt of the harm in the forum, its principal place of business, and that defendant knew the plaintiff would suffer the brunt of that harm in the forum; thus exercising personal jurisdiction in the forum was proper. See id. at 11.
The Bailey court, on the other hand, also applied the effects test to a passive web site accused of displaying defamatory information, but concluded that the forum could not validly exercise personal jurisdiction since defendant did not "expressly aim" the defamatory statements at the forum. See 86 F. Supp. 2d 790 (citing Barrett v. Catacombs Press, 44 F. Supp. 2d 717 (E.D. Pa. 1999), for the proposition that foreseeability of harm felt in the forum without more cannot establish personal jurisdiction). "The mere allegations that the Plaintiff feels the effect of the Defendant’s tortious conduct in the forum because the Plaintiff is located there is insufficient to satisfy Calder." Bailey 86 F. Supp. 2d at 796-797 (quoting Barret 44 F. Supp. 2d at 731). This is consistent with the First Circuit’s holdings. See Phillips Exeter Academy v. Howard Phillips Fund Inc., 196 F.3d 284 (1st Cir. 1999) (not an Internet case).
IV. REGULATION OF INTERNET ACTIVITIES
Although beyond the scope of this article, a business’s use of the Internet not only raises concerns of exposing it to a lawsuit in a foreign jurisdiction, but also the potential regulation of the web user’s activities under the laws of that foreign jurisdiction. The ABA Project addresses these issues in detail. ABA Project, The Business Lawyer at 1862-76. The following discussion attempts to spot a number of the issues presently being debated.
Individual states’ attempts to regulate the Internet are often challenged as violations of the First Amendment or the Interstate Commerce Clause. See Reno v. ACLU, 521 U.S. 844 (1997); American Libraries Ass’n v. Pataki, 969 F. Supp. 160 (S.D.N.Y. 1997) (striking down a New York statute making it a crime to disseminate obscene materials to minors via the Internet as a violation of the Commerce Clause). Congress has also enacted the Internet Tax Freedom Act, 47 USCS §§ 151 et. seq. (2000) which places a moratorium on new, multiple or discriminatory taxes imposed upon electronic commerce. The act defines electronic commerce as "any transaction conducted over the Internet . . . comprising the sale, lease, license, offer or delivery of property, goods, services or information, whether or not for consideration … ." Id. Notes § 1104 (3). Internet advertising, gambling and solicitation also generate much concern. See Charles R. Topping, Note, The Surf is Up, But Who Owns the Beach? Who Should Regulate Commerce on the Internet, 13 Notre Dame J.L. Ethics & Pub. Pol’y 179 (1999).
Attorney Internet advertisements have been subjected to state rules of professional conduct. See Texans Against Censorship v. State Bar of Texas, 888 F. Supp. 1328 (E.D. Tex. 1995); Amendments to Rules Regulating the Florida Bar – Advertising Rules, 1999 Fla. LEXIS 2288 (FL 1999). Problems typically arise where an Internet site combines commercial speech which is subject to ethical regulation with information that is protected by the First Amendment. See Mark Pruner, Legal Websites: Creation, Marketing, Disintermediation and Ethics, excerpted at www.cle-net.edu/ethics/pruner0.htm. Based on Connecticut’s Rules of Professional Conduct, Pruner suggests that attorneys creating web sites be especially cautious to avoid: (1) misrepresenting material facts; (2) fostering unjustified expectations about results, and (3) making unsubstantiated comparisons with other lawyers. Furthermore, Pruner recommends analyzing state regulations regarding referrals, client contact, and the use of practice field descriptions and tradenames in web-based attorney advertisements.
Internet gambling also raises jurisdictional questions. Both Louisiana and South Dakota have laws against Internet gambling. See La. Stat. Ann. 14:90.3 (2000); S.D. Codified Laws §22-25A (2000). The Minnesota Attorney General warns that anyone who transmits information into Minnesota over the Internet is subject to the jurisdiction of Minnesota. See www.ag.state.mn.us/home/consumer/consumernews/OnlineScams/memo.html (visited June 26, 2000). The online memorandum lists gambling and lotteries as examples of actions that violate Minnesota criminal and civil laws. See id.
Non-profit organizations have turned to the Internet as an inexpensive forum to solicit donations. Do local regulations governing charitable donations regulate these activities? See Exempt Organizations and Charitable Activities in New Hampshire, National Business Institute, (1999); Geoffrey Peters, Can States Regulate Charitable Solicitation via the Internet? Should They? Federation Folio Vol. 2 Num. 1 (1998). The safest course of action for a non-profit organization would be to register in every state that requires registration of solicitors. But this may prove too costly for all but the largest of nonprofits. In an effort organized by the National Association of State Charities Officials and the National Association of Attorneys General, nonprofit organizations may register with The Unified Registration Statement (URS) in an attempt to comply with a variety of states’ solicitation laws. See www.nonprofits.org/library/gov/urs (visited June 26, 2000). Thirty-three states (including the District of Columbia) require registration of charitable soliciting organizations and accept the URS. Id. However, at present, Alaska, Arizona, Florida, North Carolina, Utah and West Virginia also require registration but do not accept the URS. Id.
With these jurisdictional concerns in mind, it may be prudent for any individual or organization utilizing an Internet web site to take some defensive action. In American Eyewear, INC. v Peeper’s Sunglassesses and Accessories, INC., 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6875 (N.D. Tx. 2000), the court noted that a defendant could avoid subjecting itself to personal jurisdiction in a forum by predicating the completion of the Internet sale upon the consumer’s acceptance of terms of the agreement including a choice of venue clause, declaring that the company would not sell products in a particular forum, or programming the site to disallow orders from a particular forum. See id. at 27. Although the practical application of these suggestions may be limited, it still makes sense for companies to consider posting terms regarding service of process, choice of law, or forum selection. One might even consider conducting transactions with consumers offline to limit the number of forums where the company may be subject to personal jurisdiction.
Cases Involving Internet Jurisdiction.
Agar Corp. v. Multi-Fluid, Inc., 45 U.S.P.Q.2d (BNA) 1444 (S.D. Tex. June 25, 1997)
American Eyewear, INC. v Peeper’s Sunglassesses and Accessories, INC., 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6875 (N.D. Tx. 2000)
American Homecare Fed’n v. Paragon Scientific Corp., 27 F. Supp. 2d 109, 114 (D. Conn. 1998)
American Network, Inc. v. Access AmericalConnect Atlanta, Inc., 975 F. Supp. 494 (S.D.N.Y. 1997)
Amway Corporation v. The Proctor & Gamble Company, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 372 (W.D. Mich. 2000)
Bensusan Restaurant Corp. v. King, 937 F. Supp. 295 (S.D.N.Y. 1996), aff’d, 126 F.3d 25 (2d Cir. 1997)
Blackburn v. Walker Oriental Rug Galleries Inc.,999 F. Supp. 636 (E.D. Pa. 1998) (transferred to Western District of Pennsylvania)
Blumenthal v. Drudge, 992 F. Supp. 44 (D.D.C. 1998) (finding personal jurisdiction over Drudge, and granting summary judgment to co-defendant America Online)
Brill v. AlliedSignal, Inc. No. 98-11789-D.P.W (D. Mass. July 2, 1999)
Cody v. Ward, 954 F. Supp. 43 (D. Conn. 1997)
CompuServe, Inc. v. Patterson, 1996 FED App. 0228P (6th Cir.), 89 F.3d 1257
Conseco Inc. v. Hickerson, No. 29A04-9802-CV-85, 1998 Ind. App. LEXIS 1328 (Ind. App. Aug. 14, 1998) (no jurisdiction; refusing to follow effects test due to Internet communications when Plaintiff is a national corporation rather than an individual)
Cybersell, Inc. v. Cybersell, Inc., 130 F.3d 414 (9th Cir. 1997)
Dagesse v. Plant Hotel, N.V., Civil No. 98-713-B. Opinion No. 200 D.N.H.009 (January 5, 2000)
Digital Equipment Corp. v. Altavista Technology, Inc., 960 F. Supp. 456 (D. Mass. 1997)
E-Data Corporation v. Micropatent Corp., 989 F. Supp. 173 (D. Conn. 1997) (no jurisdiction based only on web site)
Edberg v. Neogen Corporation, No. 3:98CV00717 (GIG), 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12311 (D. Conn. Aug. 4, 1998) (no jurisdiction without just a single sale of product and web site advertising)
EDIAS Software International, L.L.C. v. BASIS International Ltd., 947 F. Supp. 413 (D. Ariz. 1996)
Expert Pages v. Buckalew, No. C-97-2109-VRW, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12205, 1997 WL 488011 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 6, 1997) (dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction)
Fernandez v. McDaniel Controls, Inc., No. 97-01596-DAE, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4159, 1998 WL 146607 (D. Haw. Mar. 24, 1998)
Figawi, Inc. v. Horan, No. 97-11180-REK, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11402 (D. Mass. July 21, 1998) (weak web contacts)
Gary Scott International, Inc. v. Frank Baroudi, 981 F. Supp. 714 (D. Mass. 1997)
Gifford v. Bruce Strumpf, Inc., Civ. No. 97-70-B, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11876 (D. Me. Aug. 7, 1997), aff’d per curiam, 141 F.3d 1149 (table), No. 97-2005, 1998 U.S. App. LEXIS 1947, 1998 WL 60406 (1st Cir. Feb. 10, 1998)
Green v. William Mason & Co., 996 F. Supp. 394, No. 96-1730 (D.N.J. 1998)
Graphic Controls Corp. v. Utah Medical Products, Inc., No. 96-CV-0459E(F), 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7448 1997 WL 276232 (W.D.N.Y. May 21, 1997)
Haelan Products Inc. v. Beso Biological Research Inc., 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10565, 43 U.S.P.Q.2d (BNA) 1672 (E.D. La. July 11, 1997)
Hasbro, Inc. v. Clue Computing, Inc., 994 F. Supp. 34 (D. Mass. 1997)
Hall v. LaRonde, 66 Cal. Rptr. 2d 399 (Ct. App. 1997)
Hearst Corp. v. Goldberger, No. 96 Civ. 3620 (PKL) (AJP), 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2065, 1997 WL 97097 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 26, 1997)
Heroes, Inc. v. Heroes Foundation, 958 F. Supp. 1 (D.D.C. 1996)
Hornell Brewing Co. v. Rosebud Sioux Tribal Court, 133 F.3d 1087 (8th Cir. 1998)
IA, Inc. v. Thermacell Technologies, Inc., 983 F. Supp. 697 (E.D. Mich. 1997)
IDS Life Insurance Co. v. SunAmerica, Inc., 958 F. Supp. 1258 (N.D. Ill. 1997), aff’d in part and vacated in part, 136 F.3d 537 (7th Cir. 1998)
Inset Systems, Inc. v. Instruction Set, Inc., 937 F. Supp. 161 (D. Conn. 1996) (denying motion to dismiss)
Mallinckrodt Medical, Inc. v. Sonus Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 989 F. Supp. 265 (D.D.C. 1998)
Maritz, Inc. v. CyberGold, Inc., 947 F. Supp. 1328 (E.D. Mo.) (denying motions to dismiss), reconsideration denied and preliminary injunction denied, 947 F. Supp. 1338 (1996)
McDonough v. Fallon McElligott, No. Civ. 95-4037, 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15139, 1996 WL 753991 (S.D. Cal. Aug. 5, 1996)
Mecklermedia Corp. v. DC Congress GmbH,  Ch 40,  1 All E.R. 148,  3 W.L.R. 479,  F.S.R. 627 (Ch. 1997) (Eng.)
Mieczkowski v. Masco Corp., 997 F. Supp. 782 (E.D. Tex. 1998)
Minnesota v. Granite Gate Resorts, 576 N.Wd 2d 747 (Minn. 1998) (jurisdiction proper based primarily on web site accessibility)
Missouri ex rel. Nixon v. Coeur D’Alene Tribe, No. 97-0914-CV-W-6, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14980, 1997 WL 603834 (W.D. Mo. Sept. 29, 1997), interlocutory appeal denied and dismissed in part, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21776, 1997 WL 829986 (Nov. 19, 1997) (dismissing Indian tribe as defendant)
Molnalycke Healthcare AB v. Dumex Med. Surgical Prods. Ltd., 64 F. Supp. 2d 448, 452 (E.D. Pa. 1999)
Naxos Resources (USA) Ltd. v. Southam, Inc., 24 Media L. Rep. (BNA) 2265 (C.D. Cal. May 30, 1996) (dismissing complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction) second amended complaint dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction, No. CV 96-2314 WJR (MCx), 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21757, 1996 WL 662451 (Aug. 16, 1996)
No Mayo — San Francisco v. Memminger, No. C-98-1392 PJH, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13154, N.D.Cal. Aug. 19, 1998) (no jurisdiction)
Northern Light Technology, Inc. v. Northern Lights Club, 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4732 (D. Mass. 2000)
Panavision International, L.P. v. Toeppen, 938 F. Supp. 616 (C.D. Cal.) (denying motion to dismissed), partial summary judgment granted, 945 F. Supp. 1296 (1996) (against defendant Toeppen), partial summary judgment granted, 41 U.S.P.Q.2d (BNA) 1310 (Nov. 27, 1996) (for defendant Network Solutions, Inc.(, summary judgment against defendant Toeppen aff’d, 141 F.3d 1316, 46 U.S.P.Q.2d (BNA) 1511 (9th Cir. Apr. 17, 1998)
Park Inns International v. Pacific Plaza Hotels, 5 F. Supp.2d 762 (D. Ariz. 1998)
Playboy Enterprises, Inc. v. Asiafocus, No. 97-734-A, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10359 (D. Va. Feb. 2, 1998) (jurisdiction found following Zippo)
Playboy Enterprises, Inc. v Chuckleberry Publishing, Inc., 939 F. Supp. 1032 (S.D.N.Y.), motion for reconsideration denied, 939 F. Supp. 1041 (1996)
Pre-Kap, Inc. v. System One, Direct Access, Inc., 636 So. 2d 1351 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1994)
Quality Solutions, Inc. v. Zupanc, 993 F. Supp. 621 (N.D. Ohio 1997)
Resuscitation Technologies, Inc. v. Continental Health Care Corp., No. IP 96-1457-C-M/S, 1997 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3523, 1997 WL 148567 (S.D. Ind. Mar. 24, 1997)
Santana Products, Inc. v. Bobrick Washroom Equipment, No. 3:CV-96-1794, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11298 (M.D. Pa. July 24, 1998)
SF Hotel Co. v. Energy Investments, Inc., 985 F. Supp. 1032 (D. Kan. 1997)
Shapiro v. Santa Fe Gaming Corp., No. 97 C 6117, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2488, 1998 WL 102677 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 26, 1998)
Smith v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., 968 F. Supp. 1356 (W.D. Ark. 1997)
State v. Granite Gate Resorts, Inc., No. C6-95-7227, 1996 WL 767431 (Minn. Ramsey County Dist. Ct. Dec. 11, 1996), aff’d, 568 N.W.2d 715 (Minn. Ct. App. 1997), appeal granted, No. C6-97-89, 1997 Minn. LEXIS 829 (Minn. Oct. 31, 1997), aff’d by an equally divided court, 576 N.W.2d 747 (Minn. 1998)
Subafilms, Ltd. v. MGM-Pathe Communications Co., 24 F.3d 1088 (9th Cir. 1994)
SuperGuide Corp. v. Kegan, 987 F. Supp. 481 (W.D.N.C. 1997)
Telco Communications v. An Apple A Day Inc., 977 F. Supp. 404 (E.D. Va. 1997)
Texans Against Censorship v. State Bar of Texas, 888 F. Supp. 1328 (E.D. Tex. 1995), aff’d 100 F. 3d 953 (5th Cir. 1996).
Thompson v. Handa-Lopez, Inc., 998 F. Supp. 738 (D. Tex. 1998)
Transcraft Corp. v. Doonan Trailer Corp., 45 U.S.P.Q.2d (BNA) 1097 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 12, 1997)
United States v. Thomas, 1996 FED App. 0032P (6th Cir.), 74 F.3d 701 cert. denied, 117 S. Ct. 74 (1996).
Vitullo v. Velocity Powerboats, Inc., No. 97 C 8745, 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7120, 1998 WL 246152 (N.D. Ill. Apr. 24, 1998) (motion to dismiss denied; applying sliding scale analysis of web site interactivity)
Weber v. Jolly Hotels, 977 F. Supp. 327 (D.N.J. 1997)
Zippo Mfg. Co. v. Zippo Dot Com, Inc., 952 F. Supp. 1119 (W.D. Pa. 1997)
The authors are indebted to Richard B. Couser and Gayle M. Braley of Orr & Reno P.A., for their contributions concerning jurisdictional issues in general.
Attorney Roy S. McCandless is a shareholder with the law firm of Orr & Reno, P.A., Concord, New Hampshire. Roy practices in the areas of commercial litigation, intellectual property, copyright, trademark, torts and nonprofit organization law.
Melissa C. Guldbransen is a second year law student at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law where she is a member of the North Carolina Law Review.