Court dismisses case with prejudice over jurisdiction.
Go Daddy Group has scored a legal victory involving jurisdiction, which should be a sigh of relief for other domain name registrars, parking companies, and even the internet industry as a whole.
uBid sued Go Daddy for allegedly including domain names that included uBid’s trademarks in both parked domains and for sale in Go Daddy domain auctions.
The court didn’t rule on the validity of uBid’s claims, but instead on jurisdiction. uBid had sued Go Daddy in Illionois, even though Go Daddy doesn’t have a physical presence there. According to a summary prepared by Go Daddy’s outside counsel at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati:
Ultimately, the court held that Go Daddy is not subject to personal jurisdiction in the state of Illinois. The court agreed with the firm’s argument that in order to exercise general jurisdiction over an Internet company that offers services to anyone in the world, the company must either have a physical presence in the state or have targeted its advertising and solicitation efforts specifically at residents of the state. The court also adopted the firm’s argument that the widely used “Zippo test” for determining whether jurisdiction exists over Internet companies does not apply to the issue of general jurisdiction. Lastly, the court agreed with the firm’s position that Illinois residents’ unilateral activity in purchasing Go Daddy’s services did not satisfy the requirements for specific jurisdiction.
A number of companies have tried to claim jurisdiction on internet companies on many wild claims, such as because their web site is accessible in the state. Even a governor has made that claim.