Another Shoe Drops in Washington: Ninth Circuit Expands Personal Jurisdiction over Willful Copyright Infringers


In Washington Shoe Co. v. A-Z Sporting Goods, Inc. (U.S. Court of Appeals – Ninth Circuit, No. 11-35166, Dec. 17, 2012), the Ninth Circuit expanded the exercise by Federal District Courts of personal jurisdiction over out-of-jurisdiction defendants in federal copyright cases. Building on the Supreme Court’s seminal decision in Int’l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310 (1945), the court explained how an Arkansas shoe retailer that had never done business in the state of Washington could nonetheless be subject to personal jurisdiction in that state.

Plaintiff Washington Shoe Co., a Washington corporation, has been making and selling shoes in the state of Washington for over 100 years. Defendant A-Z Sporting Goods Inc., an Arkansas corporation, runs a single retail store in Alma, Arkansas that sells goods relating to hunting, fishing, and outdoor activities. A-Z does not sell products over the Internet or through an interactive website. For a few years, Washington Shoe sold shoes to A-Z and a Washington Shoe sales representative provided A-Z with brochures and catalogs containing Washington Shoe products and copyright notifications. In 2009, Washington Shoe discovered that A-Z was selling two children’s boots—knockoffs of Washington Shoe’s popular children’s rain boots—that infringed on Washington Shoe’s copyrighted styles. A-Z purchased the infringing boots from China, not from Washington Shoe.

Please see full alert below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Mintz Levin | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Mintz Levin on:

Popular Topics
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.