JUNE 13, 2014 - WASHINGTON, DC
Last week the U.S. Federal District Court for the District of Nevada dismissed an online poker trademark infringement lawsuit in the Best Odds Corp. vs iBus Media Limited case through a ruling by Judge Robert C. Jones. Best Odds, an online poker news site based in Nevada, had sued the Isle of Man-based iBus Media Holdings for infringement of its MacPoker® trademark, claiming that the Nevada courts had general jurisdiction over iBus Media’s poker news sites.
Best Odds had cited the defendant’s media kit which states that its website had a “significant U.S. presence” in an attempt to make a case that Nevada courts had general jurisdiction over the foreign-based iBus Media. Judge Jones concluded that it was not enough for plaintiffs to show that a foreign defendant merely conducts business in a forum state. Instead, they must demonstrate that defendant’s “contacts are so pervasive as to render the defendant ‘essentially at home’ in the forum state,” and based his decision on the Supreme Court’s recent Daimler AG v. Bauman decision, which “clarified that the reach of general jurisdiction is narrower than had been supposed in lower courts for many years.”
“The Plaintiff essentially argued that as global websites, defendants would naturally do some business in the United States, and that should be enough for the Ninth Circuit to have jurisdiction. But using the Daimler ruling, the court said that’s not enough,” said attorney Rachel Hirsch of Ifrah Law, the Washington DC-based law firm founded by Jeff Ifrah, who represented iBus Media in the infringement case. “The court’s narrowing of general jurisdiction will likely be a boon to foreign-based corporations,” Hirsch continued. “Foreign defendants aren’t going to be hauled into U.S. courts so easily.” she said.
The Supreme Court’s decision in the Daimler AG v. Bauman case set significant limits to where companies may be sued for claims unrelated to their activities in a state. “This dismissal is one of the first cases we’ve seen where the Supreme Court’s Daimler ruling has begun to set a new precedent,” said Jeff Ifrah. “This ruling will make it much more difficult for plaintiffs to sue Internet companies based on general jurisdiction.”
Jeff Ifrah is a renowned interactive gaming attorney who has extensive experience in defending online operators from all over the world in class action and infringement lawsuits. He has been representing some major online poker sites, such as PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, serves as Special Internet Counsel for the Delaware State Lottery and is known for being on top of the rapidly changing rules and laws in igaming, always ready to advise companies and operators on how to act or react with regards to the newest regulations.
Starting out as a trial lawyer and officer in the U.S. Army’s Judge Advocate General’s Corps and as trial counsel to the U.S. Army Communications-Electronics Command at Fort Monmouth, Jeff Ifrah went on to work for the global law firms Paul Hastings and Greenberg Traurig before he founded his own law firm in Washington DC. Chambers USA has recognized Jeff for four years in a row as one of America’s leading lawyers for litigation in the areas of White Collar Crime and Government Investigations and praised him for his “honest and hard-working” approach, a recognition that Jeff takes great pride in.