After Walden v. Fiore (2014) 134 S.Ct. 1115, the “individualized targeting” of the plaintiff with knowledge of the plaintiff’s substantial contacts with the forum and foreseeable harm to plaintiff in the forum is insufficient to establish minimum contacts warranting the exercise of specific jurisdiction over a foreign defendant. The defendant must have established contacts with the forum, not just know that the plaintiff has done so and will suffer harm there. In this case, the defendant, a UK company, sent a single newsletter that contained copyright infringing logos on it to 343 email addresses, only 10 of which were held by individuals located in California. That single mailing to a small group was insufficient to establish minimum contacts. Plaintiff also failed to establish specific jurisdiction under FRCivP 4(k)(2) which permits the court to exercise jurisdiction over a foreign defendant if the claim arises under federal law, no state can exercise personal jurisdiction over the defendant, but the federal court’s doing so comports with due process. In essence the rule permits consideration of the defendant’s nationwide contacts on a federal law claim. The broader nationwide focus did not help plaintiff in this case, however, since the defendant sent its email to only 70 recipients in the United States (in addition to the 10 in California). That was still an insufficient number to allow the exercise of specific jurisdiction.
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal (Smith, J.); November 1, 2017; 2017 WL 4929835.