Takeaway: The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review a case in which the Ninth Circuit had determined that Amazon resellers could face trademark infringement lawsuits in Arizona. This decision arose from a complaint by Herbal Brands Inc., with the resellers presenting an argument centered around a jurisdictional divide linked to nationwide shipping.
The U.S. Supreme Court has opted not to review a case in which the Ninth Circuit determined that Amazon resellers could face trademark infringement lawsuits in Arizona.
Seven Amazon.com Inc. resellers argued a jurisdictional split and urged the Supreme Court to resolve the issue, contending that shipping products nationally through Amazon should not establish a substantial connection with every state. The case originated from a complaint by Herbal Brands Inc., a health and wellness products seller, alleging trademark infringement by New York-based resellers in Arizona.
The Ninth Circuit revived the lawsuit last year, stating that the unauthorized resellers’ sales to customers in Arizona were sufficient to establish jurisdiction. In response, the resellers asserted a circuit split, citing decisions by the Fifth and Eighth Circuits against jurisdiction based on nationwide shipping, while the Second and Seventh Circuits supported it. Herbal Brands countered that the circuits differed only on the narrow issue of whether a single sale into the forum state could establish jurisdiction.
The Supreme Court’s decision not to review the case aligns with Herbal Brands’ position and sets guidelines for online sales’ jurisdiction based on specific personal jurisdiction rules.
Further, this important case proves unique advantage of trials in the Ninth Circuit, as the Supreme Court’s review suggested alignment with decisions that come out of the Ninth Circuit. Cislo & Thomas is specifically skilled in trials in the Ninth Circuit, and we are available to assist you and our business if you are involved in a landmark case.