Infringing Sales Through Amazon

By Richard Stobbe

A U.S. court recently decided that it would take jurisdiction over a seller who sold allegedly infringing products through online retailers such as PetEdge Inc. a Massachusetts-based manufacturer, owns a patent and certain trademarks for its folding steps to enable pets to climb onto a bed.

Alleging patent and trademark infringement, PetEdge wanted to sue rival Fortress Secure Solutions, based in Washington State, a company with no operations, personnel or offices in Massachusetts.

To justify its lawsuit in Massachusetts district court, PetEdge argued – and the court agreed – that Fortress purposefully directed its sales to Massachusetts residents by making its sales through, and the infringement claims arose from those activities. Thus, the court took jurisdiction over the out-of-state defendant.

Lessons for business?

Canadian retailers should take note that if they use national retailers such as to sell products into the U.S., the use of this distribution channel could result in a local state court taking jurisdiction over the Canadian seller, under the same analysis applied to Fortress.

Thanks to Finnegan LLP for their link to the decision: PetEdge, Inc. v. Fortress Secure Solutions, LLC

Calgary – 07:00 MT

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