“Passive” Website of Swedish Corporation Does Not Support U.S. Defamation and Unfair Business Practices Claims

The World in U.S. Courts: Fall 2013 - Personal Jurisdiction

Xu v. Nobel Assembly at Krolinska Institutet, et al., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 143632 (C.D. Cal, Sept. 17, 2013)

Plaintiff Xu sued the Nobel Assembly, a Swedish corporation, for defamation and unfair and fraudulent business practices under California statute and common law, principally alleging that he is the inventor of a stem cell technology that the Nobel Institute has claimed as its own. However, Defendant Nobel Institute had no contacts with the United States, and the Plaintiff had failed to make sufficient allegations of such contacts. As such, the Court granted Nobel Institute’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, finding a lack of general and specific jurisdiction. Plaintiffs argued that operating a website constituted sufficient contacts, but because the website was not directed at California, it was merely a passive contact, and could not meet the “systematic” and “continuous” requirement for due process.

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