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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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Colin M. Cody v. Kevin M. Ward

954 F. Supp. 43 (D. Conn., February 4, 1997)

In this case, the court held that defendant, a California resident who allegedly made misrepresentations to plaintiff, a Connecticut resident, in at least 15 e-mail messages sent to plaintiff in Connecticut and 4 telephone calls from California (where non-resident is situated) to resident in Connecticut, were sufficient to subject non-resident defendant to Connecticut's jurisdiction in suit arising out of alleged misrepresentations. Plaintiff purchased stock in E.N. Phillips Company. Plaintiff claimed that he purchased said stock, in part, in reliance on misrepresentations made by the defendant, a California resident, and brought this suit as a result under the Connecticut Uniform Securities Act. Defendant had communicated with potential investors concerning ENP stock by posting messages to a forum entitled "Money Talk" operated on Prodigy. Defendant also communicated with plaintiff in at least 15 e-mail messages sent by defendant to plaintiff in Connecticut, and 4 extended telephone calls to plaintiff in Connecticut. In holding that this contact was sufficient to permit the assertion of personal jurisdiction over the defendant, the Federal Court relied on section 52-59b(a)(2) of the Connecticut long arm statute, which holds that Connecticut state courts can assert jurisdiction over a defendant who "commits a tortious act within the state." The Federal Court, interpreting Connecticut precedents, formed the view that Connecticut state courts (which had yet to address the issue) would conclude that the statute "applies to a nonresident who sends oral and written misrepresentations into Connecticut." The court further held that asserting jurisdiction in these circumstances comported with Due Process. Two things to note about this decision. First, the court expressly stated that it did not rely on the posting of messages in the "Money Talk" forum in reaching its conclusion. Second, it noted that New York courts, unlike those of Connecticut, hold that a person does not "commit a tortious act within the state" under New York's long-arm statute unless he is physically present in the state when the tort is committed. This indicates that the New York courts might reach a different result if presented this same fact pattern.

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