Brief Fact Summary. Millennium Enterprises, Inc. (Plainitff), filed suit against Millennium Music, L.P. (Defendant) seeking damages and injunctive relief for alleged trademark infringement under the Lanham Act. The Plaintiff is a business incorporated in Oregon with its principal place of business located in Portland, Oregon. Defendant is a South Carolina corporation.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The fact that an internet web site could possibly lead to transactions of business with forum state residents is not, by itself, enough to establish jurisdiction. It is the conduct of the defendant, rather than the medium utilized by them, to which the parameters of specific jurisdiction apply.
Even if the defendant would suffer minimal or no inconvenience from being forced to litigate before the tribunals of another State; even if the forum State has a strong interest in applying its law to the controversy; even if the forum State is the most convenient location for litigation, the Due Process Clause, acting as an instrument of interstate federalism, may sometimes act to divest the State of its power to render a valid judgment.View Full Point of Law
Issue. Does the operation of an internet web site, without any other connection to a forum state, provide enough minimum contacts to enable the forum to exercise jurisdiction over a non-resident web site operator?
Held. No. Defendant’s web site, interactive though it may be, is not “conduct and connection” with Oregon giving defendant “fair warning” so that it would reasonably anticipate being “hauled into court” in the state.
Discussion. Defendant has not taken any action creating a substantial connection with Oregon, nor has it deliberately engaged in significant activities within Oregon, nor has it created ongoing obligations with residents of Oregon in a manner related to Plaintiff’s claims. The mere fact that the Defendant has published information on an internet web site does not render its actions purposefully directed at Oregon. Further, the fact that residents of Oregon could foreseeably purchase a product from Defendant’s website is not enough to confer jurisdiction.