SW Legal Educational Publishing

Singing the Blues at The Blue Note
Description Owners of The Blue Note (trademarked) cabaret in New York sued the owner of The Blue Note cabaret in Columbia, Missouri, in federal court in New York for infringement. Court of Appeals upheld dismissal of the case for lack of personal jurisdiction in New York. Operation of the Columbia club, and its Web site, did not create sufficient evidence of intent to do business in New York.
Topic Cyberlaw
Key Words Trademark, Infringement, Personal Jurisdiction, Web Site
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Bensusan Restaurant Corp. operates a club in New York City, The Blue Note, which was registered as a federal trademark for cabaret services in 1985. King has operated a club called The Blue Note in Columbia, Missouri since 1980. Bensusan sued King in federal court in New York for tortious infringement for using the mark, The Blue Note, which was also featured on its own Web site in Columbia (which noted that it should not be confused with The Blue Note in New York or with Blue Note Records). The Web site also had a hyperlink to the Web site for The Blue Note in New York. King moved for dismissal based on lack of personal jurisdiction.
District Court Decision Case dismissed for lack of personal jurisdiction in New York. The Web site, although it could be contacted from anywhere, was to provide information about and sell tickets to The Blue Note in Columbia, not sell tickets in New York. New York residents could contact the Web site and go to Columbia to see a show, but King did not sell tickets in New York. Bensusan cannot establish a link between the operation of the Columbia club and its club in New York that could damage its business. Bensusan appealed.
Court of Appeals Decision Affirmed. "King does not transact business in New York State," so he is not subject to personal jurisdiction according to the standards set by New York law for jurisdiction to be established in tort suits.
Citation Bensusan Restaurant Corp. v. King, ---F.3d--- (1997 WL 560048, 2nd Cir.)
or
126 F. 3d 25 (2nd Cir., 1997)

Back to Cyberlaw Listing

©1997-2000  South-Western, a division of Cengage Learning, Inc. Cengage Learning is a trademark used herein under license.