Anticybersquatting cases have generally found personal jurisdiction (where to file the lawsuit) in defendant’s state or in the domain registrar’s state, thus forcing plaintiffs to hire local counsel in other states to make their claim. This tends to push smaller plaintiffs away from traditional litigation and toward UDRP arbitration where proceedings happen quickly (and cheaply) via correspondence but also where final decisions are subject to appeal — and are therefore not really “final.”
Striking a big pro-plaintiff blow, the Seventh Circuit has ruled that GoDaddy’s extensive marketing of its hosting and domain registration services in Illinois constitutes sufficient contact with the state for personal jurisdiction. uBid v. GoDaddy, — F.3d —, 2010 WL 3768075 (7th Cir. September 29, 2010). The court, applying Keeton v. Hustler, reasoned that GoDaddy’s acquisition of countless customers in the state for services that are substantially related to those in the dispute would make it fair for GoDaddy to appear in court in the same state.
It will be interesting to see what other jurisdictions follow the Seventh Circuit’s course.
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