When Selling on the Internet, You Sell EVERYWHERE: Lessons from LOUIS VUITTON MALLETIER V. MOSSERI
Earlier this month on December 2, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit entered a judgment against Joseph Mosseri, granting Louis Vuitton’s request for (1) a default judgment and a permanent injunction; (2) orders requiring the domain names of the websites “lazata.com” and “pendoza.com” be made inoperable; (3) $324,000.00 in statutory damages under 15 U.S.C. § 1117(c); (4) $9,135.00 in attorney’s fees under 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a)–(b); (5) $2,567.50 in investigative fees under 15 U.S.C. § 1117(a); (6) $504.10 in costs; and (6) prejudgment interest. You can read the whole case here.
Joseph Mosseri operated (past-tense, now) a business that was selling on the Internet counterfeit Louis Vuitton goods. Mosseri lives and operates in New York, but he has never actively done business in the state of Florida. However, Louis Vuitton filed suit against Mosseri for trademark infringement in Florida. Regardless of whether or not Mosseri intended to do business in Florida, by selling counterfeit items over the Internet, and shipping goods into the state of Florida, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals determined that Mosseri had availed himself of the laws of Florida. Because Mosseri chose to operate over the Internet, his physical presence in New York is immaterial to him being found bound by the laws of the state of Florida.