Summary prepared by Devashish Bharuka
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Plaintiff, a Delaware corporation, has adopted, used and registered the trademark GAY.NET in the US for its Interet-based information and educational service business relating to many subjects of current and contemporaneous interest to the gay community. Plaintiff's trademark GAY.NET has been found to be capable of distinguishing plaintiff's services in the marketplace, and thus functioning as a trademark. Plaintiff's GAY.NET Internet Web site and Internet publication and trademark are recognized throughout plaintiff's market area in the United States and in California.
Defendant, a Florida corporation, uses the Internet domain name "gaynet.com" and publishes material and offers services to the gay community on the Internet webapge. It appears that defendant has substantial membership and Internet "hit" or "traffic" from users/customers viewing defendant's website from California. Plaintiff showed at least one member in the Northern District of California, which has a substantial gay community.
On the question of personal jurisdiction
over the defendants, the Court held that it has jurisdiction because:
1) defendant engaged in conduct that was intended to and did result in harmful effects to plaintiff, and plaintiff's GAY.NET trademark in the United States, including California; and
2) defendant has solicited business and made sales and has at least one subscriber in California, and defendent may be a cybersquatter, having registered the trademark of plaintiff in this district.
Here, the defendant's Web site is not only an active subscription service, but plaintiff has shown that defendant's Web site would have, by its contect, been directed at least in part to the population of this District, and plaintiff provided evidence of membership by a resident of this District. This, together with defendant's having admitted the well-pleaded allegations of plaintiff's complaint, provides a basis for jurisdiction here.
Held, there is personal jurisdiction.