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Designer Skin LLC v. S & L Vitamins, Inc., et al.
Unauthorized internet reseller of plaintiff’s products is not guilty of trademark infringement, and does not cause actionable initial interest confusion, by using plaintiff’s trademarks in meta tags of website at which plaintiff’s and its competitors’ products are sold, and in...

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Maritz, Inc. v. CyberGold, Inc.

947 F. Supp. 1328 (D. Mo. August 19, 1996) reconsideration denied and preliminary injunction denied, 947 F. Supp. 1338 (1996).

In Maritz, the court held that a commercial web site's accessibility to forum residents, standing alone, was sufficient to sustain jurisdiction. Maritz, a Missouri corporation, contended that CyberGold's activities ran afoul of the Lanham Act. The only contact CyberGold, a California corporation, had with Missouri was via the . CyberGold set up a web site, accessible worldwide, via which it advertised its product -- a service which sent interested users advertisements that matched the user's selected interests. The site was apparently hosted on a California server. CyberGold had no offices or employees within Missouri. The court held such contact sufficient to permit CyberGold to be subject to suit in Missouri. The Court reasoned that CyberGold's alleged violation of the Lanham Act was a tortious act that caused injury to a Missouri resident. This, in turn, permitted the exercise of jurisdiction under those provisions of Missouri's long-arm statute that authorized suit in Missouri against non-residents who committed tortious acts within the state. The court further found that asserting jurisdiction over CyberGold comported with due process notwithstanding CyberGold's argument that its operation of the site was passive. CyberGold argued that absent the intervention of a Missouri user, CyberGold would have no presence in Missouri at all. In rejecting this argument, the court stated: Although CyberGold characterizes its activity as merely maintaining a "passive web site" its interest is to reach all users, regardless of geographic location. ... CyberGold automatically and indiscriminately responds to each and every user who accesses it web site. Through its web site, CyberGold has consciously decided to transmit advertising information to all users, knowing that such information will be transmitted globally. Thus, CyberGold's contacts are of such quality and nature ... that they favor the exercise of personal jurisdiction over defendant.

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