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Hy Cite Corp. v. Badbusinessbureau.com, L.L.C.
United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin
297 F. Supp. 2d 1154 (W.D. Wis. 2004)
Hy Cite Corporation (Hy) (plaintiff) is a Wisconsin company with its principal place of business there. Badbusinessbureau.com (BBB.com) (defendant) owns a website where customers post complaints about businesses. BBB.com is a West Indies company. Customers submitted complaints to BBB.com about Hy’s products. Hy contacted BBB.com and was told that it could join BBB.com’s customer advocacy program for $50,000. Hy declined. Hy sued BBB.com in federal district court in Wisconsin for trademark infringement, false advertising, and other claims. BBB.com does not have offices, own property, or solicit business in Wisconsin. BBB.com permits customers to post complaints, allows companies to post rebuttals, sells books, allows donations, offers to coordinate class action lawsuits, sells advertising, and allows enrollment in its advocacy program on its website. None of these activities are specific to Wisconsin. BBB.com’s only contacts with the state are one book sale and the communications about the advocacy program Hy initiated. BBB.com moved to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Crabb, J.)
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