For more than a decade, the federal judiciary has struggled to reconcile the conflict between the territorial restrictions of International Shoe's framework for personal jurisdiction and cybersquatting claims filed pursuant to the Anticybersquatting Consumer Protection Act (ACPA). The International Shoe framework conditions the exercise of personal jurisdiction on a geographic nexus between a nonresident defendant and the forum state. Logically, this rubric is at odds with cybersquatting--a form of trademark infringement entirely within the virtual confines of the Internet.
In uBID, Inc. v. GoDaddy Group, Inc., the Seventh Circuit upheld personal jurisdiction over a nonresident corporation accused of cybersquatting by bending the International Shoe framework beyond its breaking point. Although this opinion will surely become the darling of future plaintiffs in cybersquatting suits, the divergent analyses used by the court majority and concurrence demonstrate why cybersquatting has outgrown the limitations of International Shoe.
This Note will argue that the proper means of resolving the disjunction between International Shoe and cybersquatting lies with Congress, rather than the federal courts. Thus, namely, a congressional amendment to the ACPA that provides for nationwide service of process will allow the federal judiciary to continue reaching the equitable decision seen in GoDaddy --without setting dangerous precedent that eviscerates the jurisdictional framework of International Shoe.
Gregg M. Barbakoff,
No Shoes, No Service? Why Cybersquatting Has Outgrown the International Shoe Framework for Personal Jurisdiction, and the Need for Legislative Reform,
Seventh Circuit Rev.
Available at: https://scholarship.kentlaw.iit.edu/seventhcircuitreview/vol6/iss2/3