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Dudnikov v. Chalk & Vermilion Fine Arts, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
514 F.3d 1063 (10th Cir. 2008)


Karen Dudnikov and Michael Meadors (plaintiffs) ran Tabber’s Temptations (TT), a fabric business, from their Colorado home. Most of their income came from sales through eBay. TT’s eBay page, as well as the company’s personal website, disclosed its location in Colorado. In October 2005, TT commenced an eBay auction of fabrics printed with the cartoon character Betty Boop. One design played off a work by the artist Erté. Chalk & Vermilion Fine Arts, Inc. (C&V) (defendant), as the agent for the copyright owner, SevenArts (defendant), filed a notice of claimed infringement (NOCI) with eBay, causing eBay to suspend the auction. The plaintiffs offered to remove the fabric from sale if the NOCI were withdrawn. The defendants refused and threatened to sue in federal court. Before the defendants did so, the plaintiffs sued them in a federal court in Colorado, seeking a declaration of non-infringement and injunctive relief. The defendants moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. C&V was a Connecticut company incorporated in Delaware; SevenArts was based in Great Britain. The district court granted the motion. The plaintiffs appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Gorsuch, J.)

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