Nevada Federal District Court Stays Discovery Based On Lack Of Jurisdiction Over Foreign Website Operator

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On May 15, the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada granted a motion to stay discovery pending adjudication of the motion to dismiss on the grounds that it likely lacked personal and specific jurisdiction over the foreign operator of a passive website that conducted no act in Nevada other than the use of an allegedly infringing trademark, notwithstanding the website’s marketing claims of a significant U.S. presence. Best Odds Corp. v. iBus Media Ltd., No. 13-2008, slip op. (D. Nev. May 15, 2014). The court’s “peek” at the defendant’s pending motion to dismiss arguments led to the conclusion that it lacked personal jurisdiction over defendant despite plaintiff’s allegation, among others, that the defendant’s media kit stated that its website has a “significant U.S. presence” because that statement did not “approximate physical presence.” The court further concluded that it lacked specific jurisdiction, holding that the foreign operator’s site was passive and the operator did not purposefully direct its activities at the forum state or consummate a transaction within the forum state. The court rejected the plaintiff’s argument that the website was not passive because it allowed users to access third party travel websites to make reservations in the United States.

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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.

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