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Jurisdiction for U.S. Trademark Violations 美国商标侵权的司法管辖权

Jurisdiction for U.S. Trademark Violations

美国商标侵权的司法管辖权

You are based in China or elsewhere outside the United States. You offer various items for sale via an online store or website. One morning you awake to discover that your Paypal account is frozen and your website has been taken down and the domain transferred to a law firm in the United States. You read the email from Paypal and from the trademark owner’s lawyer and try to make sense of it. In shock, you first blame Paypal as they were the one actually holding your account. You then read my article, 应该怪Paypal吗?Don’t Blame Paypal, and realize that no, Paypal is not to blame. You are left with one burning question: How is it that you have been sued in the United States for operating an online business from far outside the U.S.?

你在中国或在美国以外的其他地方。您通过网上商店或网站销售各种物品。有一天早上你醒来发现你的Paypal账户被冻结,你的网站已经被关掉,你的网站域名被转到美国的一家律师事务所。你读着来自Paypal和商标所有者的律师发来的电子邮件并试图理解它。震惊,你首先会责怪Paypal因为是他们是持有您的帐户。你看了我的文章“应该怪Paypal吗?别怪Paypal,然后意识到不,不应该去怪Paypal。你留有一个亟待解决的问题:你是如何因为在美国以外的地方经营网上业务而在美国被起诉的?

The method used to determine jurisdiction for U.S. trademark violations is a complicated legal process. In this article, I am going to explain how U.S. courts determine jurisdiction for U.S. trademark violations. My purpose is to inform my readers of the reasoning U.S. courts use when determining jurisdiction for U.S. trademark violations so that future liability may be avoided. I also hope to dispel what I have found to be widely held misbeliefs regarding the ability of U.S. courts to obtain jurisdiction for U.S. trademark violations over companies and individuals outside the U.S. While this article will provide an understandable explanation, there is no escaping the conclusion that under U.S. law courts properly exercise jurisdiction for U.S. trademark violations over people and entities outside the U.S. The U.S. courts have addressed this question many times and in each case have affirmed that they do in fact have jurisdiction for U.S. trademark violations under these circumstances. Challenging the ability of these courts to hear similar cases on the grounds that these courts do not or should not have jurisdiction for U.S. trademark violations is futile and a complete waste of time and resources.

判定美国商标侵权管辖权的方法是一个复杂的法律程序。在这篇文章中,我将解释美国法院如何确定美国商标侵权的管辖权。我的目的是告知我的读者美国法院在确定商标侵权的司法管辖区时使用的逻辑以便可以避免未来的损失。我也希望能消除我发现被广泛持有的对于美国法院获得的美国境外公司或个人对美国商标侵犯管辖权的错误信条。本文将提供简单易懂的解释,但是无法逃脱的结论是美国法院正确行使了对美国境外公司或个人对美国商标侵犯的管辖权。美国法院已经回答了这个问题很多次,每件案例都肯定了他们在这些情况下对美国商标侵权行为的管辖权。基于这些法院没有或不应该对美国商标侵权有管辖权而挑战这些法院受理类似案件的能力是徒劳的,完全是在浪费时间和资源。

The U.S. trademark law, commonly referred to as the “Lanham Act,” is a federal law enacted by the U.S. Congress under its power to regulate commerce. The order of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in the 2015 case of Monster Energy Company v. Wensheng, et al. provides a thorough explanation of how U.S. courts determine jurisdiction for U.S. trademark violations. The Lanham Act gives individuals and companies the ability to sue in federal courts for alleged violations. A violation occurs where something is sold or offered for sale that bears the mark of the trademark holder. It is not necessary for the seller to enter the U.S. or the state where the lawsuit is brought. It is also unnecessary for the seller to actually sell something to someone within the state or the United States. Placing an image bearing the trademark holder’s mark on a website where it can be viewed by residents of the forum state is enough for a court to determine that a violation of the Lanham Act has occurred. The plaintiffs’ allegations are often supported by evidence that the alleged infringer has actually sold items to people within the state where the lawsuit is initiated and in many cases has shipped the item into the state. This evidence is not diminished by the fact that the person who bought the items was actually an investigator for the plaintiff’s law firm.

美国商标法,通常称为”兰哈姆法”,是由美国国会颁布的联邦法律,有权规范商业。在2015伊利诺斯北部地区的美国地区法院就Monster能源公司诉Wensheng的法令提供了美国法院如何确定对美国商标侵权管辖权的彻底解释。兰哈姆法案赋予个人和公司在联邦法院起诉涉嫌侵权的能力。在售出或出售商品时,涉及商标持有人的标记侵权就发生了。卖方没有必要进入美国或提起诉讼的州。卖方也不必向本州或在美国境内某人实际出售商品。放了一个有商标所有人标记的图像在网上,能够被这个州的居民看到就足以让法院来确定违反兰哈姆法已经实际发生了。原告的指控往往有证据支持,被控侵权人实际上已向诉讼提起所在州的人售出物品了。在许多情况下,这些产品已经寄到这个州了。这一证据并没有因为购买物品的人实际上是原告律师事务所的调查员而减少。

U.S. courts reason that a person offering items for sale online to people within the forum state may be sued in that state. By offering these items for sale to people within the state, the out of state business is in fact doing business within the state. These courts reason that out of state sellers should anticipate that they may be sued in the state where they offer items for sale. By choosing to offer items for sale within the forum state, out of state sellers consent to the jurisdiction of state and federal courts within the state. The courts have rejected the argument that it is overly burdensome for out of state sellers to be required to defend lawsuits citing the ease of modern communications and transportation. In the Monster Energy case cited above, the Court specifically noted that China based online sellers had utilized an online sales platform that allowed them to choose where their items would be offered for sale. The China based online sellers had chosen not to exclude the state of Illinois from their target market designation.

美国法院认为,某人将在网上销售的产品提供给该州里的人可能在该州被起诉。通过向本州的人们出售这些物品,州境外的生意实际上也是在本州内做生意。这些法院的理由是,州外的销售者应该预料他们可能会被他们提供产品到的州所起诉。通过选择向州内提供产品,在州外的卖方同意该州和在该州的联邦法院的司法管辖权。法院引用现代沟通和交通的便利而驳回了对于州外卖家去辩护诉讼是难以承受的困难的观点。在以上引用的Monster能源案例中,法院特别指出,在中国的网上卖家已经利用了网上销售平台,可以允许他们选择将他们的产品销售到哪里。中国的网上卖家在他们目标市场设计时已经选择了不排除伊利诺斯州。

A finding of jurisdiction for U.S. trademark violations is also supported by the effects that an offer of sales has on the people and businesses, including the plaintiff, within the forum state. The primary intent of the Lanham Act is to prevent confusion in the marketplace. Trademarks make buying quality products easy for consumers. The existence of goods bearing a counterfeit mark makes finding quality products difficult for consumers. The offer of sale of counterfeit products also damages the business of the plaintiffs and other businesses that sell the trademark owner’s products. Thus, U.S. courts reason that since economic effects are felt within the state, the businesses and consumers that are damaged by the sale or offer of sale of allegedly infringing products must have the ability to seek damages from the seller in order to remedy their injury. The courts reason that it would be wholly unfair to damaged trademark holders, consumers and businesses to allow an out of state online merchant to avoid liability simply because the merchant has not physically entered the jurisdiction where the lawsuit is brought.

美国商标侵权的司法管辖权的一个发现也是得到销售产品对个人和企业,包括原告在提起诉讼的州内的影响所支持的。兰哈姆法的主要目的是防止市场混乱。商标使消费者购买优质产品非常容易。存在假冒商标的商品使消费者难以找到高质量的产品。假冒产品的销售也损害了原告和销售商标所有者产品的其他企业的业务。因此,美国法院的理由是,由于在本州受到了经济影响,受到销售或出售涉嫌侵权产品影响的企业和消费者必须有能力向卖方寻求赔偿,以弥补他们的损害。法院的理由是,允许州外的线上商家仅仅因为他们没有实际进入提交诉讼的司法管辖权而避免承担责任,这对受影响的商标持有人,消费者和企业来说是完全不公平的。

The method of determining jurisdiction for U.S. trademark violations is well established. A legal challenge to a preliminary finding of jurisdiction for a U.S. jurisdiction for trademark violations by a U.S. court is almost certainly a wasteful and ultimately futile endeavor. The U.S. courts are not going to abandon their many previous decisions on these very questions. If an online seller wishes to completely avoid being the subject of a lawsuit in the U.S. the only ways to do this are to 1) refrain from selling or offering for sale to customers anywhere in the United States or its territories and/or 2) completely avoid infringing on a protected trademark. Online merchants who wish to avoid being subjected to U.S. court jurisdiction for U.S. trademark violations should hire staff to review the products that they offer for sale to ensure that no violations occur.

确定美国商标侵权的司法管辖权的方法是公认的。对美国法院的商标侵权司法管辖权进行法律挑战几乎肯定是浪费时间和最终徒劳的努力。美国法院不会放弃他们以前对这些问题的许多决定。如果网上卖家希望完全避免成为美国诉讼的主体,唯一的办法是1)禁止销售或出售给在美国任何地方或其领土的消费者和/或2)完全避免侵犯受保护的商标。希望避免因为美国商标侵权而受到美国法院管辖的网上卖家应聘请工作人员审查他们提供的产品销售,以确保没有侵权发生。

As an attorney representing online merchants for alleged violations of U.S. trademark laws, I understand the frustrations of online merchants who do not believe that they infringed a U.S. trademark or who did so accidentally due to the fact that the brand is not so well known outside the U.S. or language barriers. Litigation is a stressful and bewildering ordeal even for U.S. citizens resident in the U.S. These frustrations are magnified where the defendants are only small merchants who are being subjected to the same process and penalties as large companies that have a large volume of business. The Law Office of L. Ford Banister, II is dedicated to helping you obtain the best possible resolution of your case. If you have been sued in the U.S. for violation of U.S. trademark laws, do not wait as delay may harm your ability to defend your case. Contact The Law Office of L. Ford Banister, II today. We Defend You.

作为代表涉嫌美国商标侵权在线商家的一名律师,我明白不相信他们侵犯美国商标或者因为某品牌在美国境外不是家喻户晓或者语言障碍而意外侵权的网上商家的挫折。即使对居住在美国境内的美国公民来说诉讼都是一种很有压力和困惑的折磨。当被告只是小商人而受到和有更多销量的大企业一样的过程和处罚时,这种挫折会被放大。L. Ford Banister II 律师事务所致力于帮助你获得对你案子最好的可能的解决方案。如果你在美国被起诉违反了美国商标法>>,不要等待因为拖延可能会损害你的辩护能力。今天就和L. Ford Banister II律师事务所联系。我们为你辩护。

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