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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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Inset Systems Inc. v. Instruction Set, Inc.

1996 U.S. Dist. Lexis 7160, 937 F. Supp. 161, (D. Conn. April 17, 1996)

In Inset, the court held that a commercial web site's accessibility to forum residents, standing alone, was sufficient to sustain jurisdiction. Inset contended that its trademark in "Inset" was infringed by defendant's use of the mark in both its domain name (inset.com) and 800 telephone number (1-800-US-Inset). Defendant was a Massachusetts-based corporation with neither offices, employees nor regular sales in Connecticut. To promote its products, however, defendant created a web site, accessible to anyone on the web, including Connecticut residents. The Court held that by this activity, defendant had solicited business in Connecticut within the meaning of that state's long-arm statute. The Court further held that exercising jurisdiction over the non-resident defendant solely on the accessibility of the defendant's web site to Connecticut residents comported with the Constitution's Due Process clause. The Court stated: "Instruction has directed its advertising activities via the and its toll-free number toward not only the State of Connecticut, but to all States. The as well as toll-free numbers are designed to communicate with people and their businesses in every state. Advertisement on the can reach as many as 10,000 users within Connecticut alone. Further, once posted on the ... the advertisement is available continuously to any user. [Instruction] has therefore purposefully availed itself of the privileges of doing business within Connecticut ... [and] could reasonably anticipate the possibility of being hailed into court here." The court equated the creation of a web site with the placement of print ads in publications circulated in Connecticut. It did not address the fact that, unlike print publications, defendant's web site only appeared on Connecticut computer screens if accessed by a Connecticut resident. This question was squarely addressed by the court in Maritz, Inc. v. CyberGold, Inc., discussed below.

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