Diary of a Copyright Infringement Lawsuit – 2a (Personal Jurisdiction)

As a follow up to last week’s blog post about where to file your copyright infringement lawsuit, a vital element is whether the court has “personal jurisdiction” over the defendant. Such was the issue in the copyright infringement/violation of right of publicity case for the advertisement called “Are You With Us or What” in Australia.  The background of the matter is in my September 15, 2007 blog entry.

The plaintiff resided in Texas, so she filed suit there. But the court held that Virgin Australia’s alleged use of a computer server in Texas was not the “minimum contact” needed with the state for the Texas court to exercise jurisdiction over the defendant.  See the Order for more information.

Whether a court may exercise jurisdiction over a person or entity can be difficult to determine when the defendant has an national/international presence, such as on the Internet.  Generally, a court will exercise jurisdiction over a defendant if you can show that it targeted its activities and/or had substantial sales to customers in the state, but usually the claim has to have resulted from those sales or targeted activity.

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