Japan Press Service v. Japan Press Service

U.S. DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
Civil Practice

New York Law Journal

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Judge Sandra Feuerstein

Plaintiff California firm publishes the Nikkan San newspaper in Los Angeles. Through a 2003 agreement with plaintiff's affiliate Kabushiki Gaisha (KG), defendant was incorporated in Hawaii to publish and distribute the Nikkan San or Japanese Daily Sun in Hawaii. In 2007, defendant's president Kobayashi and Makino, plaintiff's president, incorporated Nikkan Sun.com Inc. in New York as a joint venture to distribute a Japanese language paper. The venture dissolved in 2010. The court dismissed plaintiff's Lanham Act suit charging defendant's infringement and dilution of the Nikkan Sun and Japanese Daily Sun marks for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue. Defendant lacked "traditional indicia" of "doing business" in New York. Its relationship with the joint venture did not provide a basis for jurisdiction. Nor was there a nexus between defendant's continued use of the marks in Hawaii after August 2009 and the business conducted by the New York joint venture's until April 2008. The court observed that plaintiff should have known that New York was not a proper forum within which to bring an action against a Hawaii corporation which prints, publishes, and distributes a newspaper only in Hawaii.

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