Hsin Ten Enterprises United States v. Clark Enterprises & Clifford D. Clark
2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18717

Summary prepared by Devashish Bharuka
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Plaintiff, a New York corporation, has an exclusive licensing agreement with Skylite Industry Co. Ltd. granting Hsin Ten the exclusive right to manufacture, use and sell aerobix exercise machines under two patents issues to Skylite. It also owns the "The Chi Machine" trademark. It alleges that because of its extensice sales and advertising, the "The Chi Machine" mark is associated with plaintiff's electric massage apparatuses.

Clark Enterprises, a Kansas company, began an aerobix exercise machine (the "Exercise Machine") in direct competition with Hsin Ten's "The Chi Machine" brand aerobic exercise machines. It maintians no established place of business anywhere other then Salina, Kansas.

Plaintiff sued defendant asserting claims of patent and trademark infringement. Defendants now move to dismiss the Complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction.

Clark enlisted representatives to promote and sell its Exercise Machines. These representatives appear at trade shows, fairs, mall locations and clinics throughout the United States, and receive commissions for each Exercise Machine sold. Clark representatives also offered the Machine at two New York trade shows. Clark also utilized Innternet website to market the Machine. The Machine may be purchased on the website either by completing an order from onlime or by printing an order form and submitting it to Clark via mail or fascimile. The websites also provide customers a help service by which customers may e-mail Clark with questions and receive reponses from an online representative. On the basis of this factual background, the Court viewed the website, at the very least, as highly interactive. Furthermore, defendant's non-Internet activities let the Court to conclude that Clark has purposefully availed itself of the privilege of conducting business in New York and should have reasonbly anticipated being sued there. The Court held that exercise of jurisdiction over Clark does not offend traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.

Held, there is personal jurisdiction.