Personal jurisdiction and the online marketplace


Robert Kenney and Katie Peden

The Second Circuit’s August 5, 2010 ruling in Chloe v. Queen Bee of Beverly Hills, LLC is a victory for trademark owners in the area of personal jurisdiction over accused online counterfeiters.

Generally, in the US, personal jurisdiction over a party based in whole or in part on an Internet website accessible within the jurisdiction is a factual determination related to the interactivity of the website. For example, the mere accessibility of a website from within the jurisdiction is not sufficient.

On the other hand, a website that allows a resident of the jurisdiction to take additional action, such as purchasing goods for shipment, requesting catalogues, signing up for membership or similar activities, may amount to sufficient contact for proper exercise of personal jurisdiction over a party.

In Chloe, the plaintiffs, luxury goods company Chloe SA and its exclusive licensee and division Chloe NA in the US, brought suit in the Southern District of New York against several defendants, including Ubaldelli, a principal and operator of the online retailer Queen Bee of Beverly Hills, LLC. The defendants sold counterfeit goods, including a Chloe-branded handbag, through their website.

Online retail, anti-counterfeiting, personal jurisdiction