Personal Jurisdiction Exists over Non-US Non-Parties to Litigation That Have “Actual Notice” of Court’s Order

The World in U.S. Courts: Summer 2017 - Personal Jurisdiction/Forum Non Conveniens

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Advanced Access Content System Licensing Administrator, LLC v. Feng Tao, US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, May 3, 2017

The defendant operated a business whose software allowed users to “circumvent” the plaintiff’s encryption technology, thereby giving rise to a claim that was not described further. The District Court issued an injunction prohibiting the defendant from carrying on his business, and directing certain non-US domain registrars and payment processors that are not parties to the litigation not to assist the defendant’s operations. The defendant argued that the injunction improperly extended to the non-parties located outside the US. Although the basis for the argument was not stated, presumably it was that the Court lacked personal jurisdiction over the non-parties.

The Court of Appeals disagreed and affirmed issuance of the injunction. It found that parties having actual notice of the injunction could be precluded from assisting the defendant in violating the orders, and observed broadly that “[F]ederal courts can enjoin conduct that has or is intended to have a substantial effect within the United States.”

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