Case Transferred for Lack of Personal Jurisdiction

In Adobe Sys. v. Cardinal Camera & Video Ctr., No. 15-cv-02991-JST, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137153 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 7, 2015), Adobe alleged that Cardinal used both its own website (www.cardinalcamera.com) and its Amazon.com merchant account to sell unauthorized version of Adobe Software, thereby infringing Adobe’s underlying trademarks and copyrights.

Specific jurisdiction was asserted which requires a continuous and systematic affiliation with the proposed state forum. Judge Jon S. Tigar concluded that mere awareness of Adobe’s domicile in the Northern District of California and alleged infringing conduct targeting Adobe there, was insufficient to establish specific jurisdiction.  Nor was the bald assertion that Cardinal’s website was interactive and that it featured infringing Adobe products for sale adequate, even though 1.2% of Cardinal sales were shipped to California and Cardinal advertised for sale and sold infringing software on its website through its Amazon.com account.

Citing recent district court opinions as support — Imageline, Inc. v. Hendricks, No. CV 09-1870 DSF (AGRx), 2009 WL 10286181, at *3, 5 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 12, 2009) and Control Solutions, Inc. v. MircoDAQ.com, Inc., No. 3:15-cv-748-PK, 2015 WL 5092593, at *7 (D. Or. Aug. 26, 2015) — the court concluded that “a sale into the forum is not a substantial contact where it ‘involved the forum state only because that is where the purchaser happened to reside.’ [Boschetto v. Hansing, 539 F.3d 1011, 1019 (9th Cir. 2008].”  Adobe, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137153, at *15.

As the sales did not aim at the forum, no special jurisdiction arose because:

Adobe does not allege that Cardinal advertises in California, markets products specifically intended for a California audience, or in any other way directs its sales activities to California.

Adobe, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 137153, at *16.  Nor was leave to conduct jurisdictional discovery appropriate as it was based on purely speculative allegations of attenuated jurisdictional contacts.  Upon declining jurisdiction, the case was transferred to the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Gauntlett & Associates represents Cardinal in this suit.

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