Phish, Inc. v. Knighthood Tees

Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction


The band Phish filed an action for copyright infringement against a fan who made and sold tee shirts using variations on the band's song titles and lyrics. The shirts were humorous, and thus the song "Glide" became immortalized in a tee shirt bearing a Tide bottle labeled "Glide." Phish's attorneys brought the suit in San Francisco, and alleged that jurisdiction was proper there -- despite the fact that all the parties lived in Vermont -- because their private investigator had purchased tee shirts from defendants' online store from a computer in San Francisco. Defendant Knighthood Tees claimed that was a clear attempt to manufacture jurisdiction and filed its motion to dismiss or transfer for improper venue.

After oral argument Judge Hamilton transferred the matter to District Court in Vermont. The subsequent hearing on the preliminary injunction resulted in a victory for defendants when photographs were introduced showing that the band liked defendants' t-shirts well enough to perform in concert wearing them. The case was subsequently settled, with all proceeds going to charitable foundation.

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Reference Info:Legal Memoranda: Motion Addressed to Pleadings | Federal, 9th Circuit, California | United States

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