Bensusan Rest. Corp. v. King

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Parties: Bensusan, a New York company. King, an owner of a cabaret in Missouri.

Facts: King started a small club called "The Blue Note" in Columbia, MO. in 1980. Plaintiff is "the creator of an enormously successful jazz club in NYC called 'The Blue Note'." Bensusan registered trademark for cabaret services on May 14, 1985. In April 1996, King launched a web site for his cabaret in MO, and Bensusan brought instant action in the S.D. of NY.

Procedural History: District Ct. dismissed complaint. Case went to 2nd Circuit Courtt of Appeals.

Issue: Does NY State law prevent jurisdiction in this case? If so, does the NY state law fall under due process?

Arguments: Plaintiff argued that King participated in interstate commerce: He hired bands of national stature and his customers were university students from other states.

Holding: NY state law proscribes jurisdiction, so due process will not even be considered.

Reasons: Under state statute, a person or his agents must be physically in the state at the time of the tortuous act to fall under jurisdiction. The acts allegedly committed by the defendant were all committed in MO, so they don't support jurisdiction.

Judgment: Affirmed.