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Cepia, LLC v. Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 129126 (2011)
The developer, manufacturer, and seller of children’s toy lines, Cepia, LLC (Cepia) (plaintiff) was a Missouri limited-liability company. Cepia sold a successful line of motorized animal toys called ZhuZhu Pets. Cepia registered the trademarks for “ZhuZhu Pets” and the ZhuZhu Pets logo, and it owned several copyrights in the design and packaging. Alibaba.Com Hong Kong Limited (Alibaba.Com) (defendant) was a Hong Kong corporation that was a subsidiary of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (Alibaba) (defendant), a Cayman Islands corporation. Alibaba was a holding company that owned internet businesses including Alibaba.Com, the domain name “alibaba.com,” and the marks “Alibaba” and “Aliexpress.” Alibaba maintained no presence of any kind in Missouri beyond its ownership interests in Alibaba.Com. Alibaba.Com maintained websites as an online marketplace for sellers to display products to consumers throughout the United States and elsewhere. Alibaba.Com had no physical presence in Missouri beyond its websites that had two paid users and 1,211 suppliers located in Missouri. Cepia brought an action in the district court against Alibaba and Alibaba.Com for trademark infringement and copyright infringement. Cepia alleged that Alibaba.Com used Cepia’s ZhuZhu Pets trademarks and copyrights to facilitate the sale of counterfeit goods by including a link on its home page directing customers to a page for unauthorized ZhuZhu Pets products offered by various sellers. Alibaba and Alibaba.Com moved to dismiss the action for a lack of personal jurisdiction.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Limbaugh, J.)
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