In an opinion Wednesday, Judge Vyskocil dismissed, on personal jurisdiction grounds, a trademark case against various websites selling counterfeit American Girl products from China. Judge Vyskocil found that American Girl could not meet its burden to show conduct directed at New York. The court was “unconvinced that a Defendant simply owning a website that is ‘accessible’ from New York is enough to find that it transacts business here,” where it appeared that the websites deliberately avoided doing business in the state:
Plaintiff cannot point to a single sale that Defendants made into New York or any action that Defendants took to target their sales activity into this state. The only instance to which Plaintiff can point is an attempted purchase, by Plaintiff’s counsel, of products from Defendants’ websites on the same day Plaintiff filed its complaint.
However, as Plaintiff admits, no product ever reached New York and Plaintiff was, in fact, refunded the purchase price. This may be because, as Defense counsel explained at the April 14 hearing, Defendants claim to have a policy of not shipping products to the United States and to refund any money paid by a potential American purchaser.
While Defendants’ evidentiary record in support of their motion to dismiss is conspicuously silent on this supposed policy, Plaintiff—who bears the burden to allege jurisdiction—does not allege any sales into New York or any action by Defendants to target their sales activity to New York.