The Internet exception.

The basis for personal jurisdiction over Geometric, according
to CEC, was that it falls under the “effects test.” The effects test has three prongs that must
be shown: (1) that the defendant committed an intentional tort, (2) the brunt of the harm
was felt by the plaintiff in the forum state, making the forum state the focal point of the
harm, and (3) the defendant aimed the tort at the forum state. Should the court of
appeals affirm or reverse the district court’s dismissal of the case for lack of personal
jurisdiction? Why or why not?
4.
The new age of technology presents much opportunity for litigation. The Internet is no
exception. When operating Internet websites, an important part of it is owning the
domain name (www.example.com). Anyone in the world can own any domain name
that is available and the facts of this case arise from this concept.
The plaintiff in this case, Weather Underground Corporation (Weather Underground), a
Michigan corporation, is a commercial weather service. It owns and operates several
domain names so that people can access their company through their websites.
Defendants in this case, Navigation Catalyst Systems, Incorporated (“NCS”), a Delaware
corporation, owns many domain names that are similar to the plaintiff’s company name
(some would result from people misspelling the correct domain name for Weather
Underground). NCS profits from consumers going to one of these websites and clicking
on links that are on them.
Plaintiff filed suit against NCS and several of its companies in the District Court for the
Eastern District of Michigan. As defendants were not incorporated in Michigan, the issue
of personal jurisdiction arise. The courts of appeals have held that in order to establish
specific personal jurisdiction (showing that this company has established contacts with
the forum state), one must show three things: (1) the defendant purposefully availed
himself of the privilege of acting in the forum state, (2) the cause of action arises from the
defendant’s activities there, and (3) the defendant’s acts were so substantial as to make
the exercise of personal jurisdiction there reasonable.