Louisiana Appellate Court Addresses Personal Jurisdiction Based On Out-Of-State Website Sales


On November 5, the Court of Appeal of Louisiana, Fourth Circuit, affirmed a trial court’s holding that it lacked personal jurisdiction over a dispute that involved only one sale of goods over the Internet to a Louisiana-based customer. BioClin BV v. MultiGyn USA, LLC, No. 2012-CA-0962, 2013 WL 5935233 (La. Ct. App. Nov. 5, 2013). A Dutch company appealed a trial court’s decision to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction the company’s suit against a Florida based web-retailer for infringement. On appeal, the court affirmed, holding that the company failed to establish that the defendant’s one-time sale of goods into Louisiana over the Internet subjected the defendant to that state’s courts, and that “extenuating personal jurisdiction would not comport with the notions of fair play and substantial justice.” Relying on the sliding scale established in Zippo Mfg. Co. v. Zippo Dot Com, Inc., 952 F. Supp. 1119, to assess whether a website has minimum contacts with a forum state sufficient to invoke personal jurisdiction, the appeals court explained that the “mere creation of a website, does not constitute purposeful availment of the forum benefits,” nor does a one-time sale of goods through that website into the state.

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