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Cairo, Inc. v. CrossMedia Services, Inc., 2005 WL 756610 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 1, 2005).
Factual Background Edit
Cairo compiles information from retailer's web pages, some of which are enabled by CMS, by means of robot computer programs which download information automatically without being aware of any end user agreements.
Trial Court Proceedings Edit
Cairo filed for declaratory relief against CMS to declare its website was not violating any intellectual or other property rights of CMS. CMS filed a Motion to Dismiss for improper venue under Fed. R. Civ. P. 12(b)(3), stating that Cairo must abide by the forum selection clause.
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that to resolve motions to dismiss based on a forum selection clause, the pleadings are not accepted as true, and the court may consider facts outside the pleadings, interpreting conflicting facts in favor of the non-moving party. It also held that forum selection clauses are "prima facie valid and should be enforced unless enforcement is shown by the resisting party to be 'unreasonable' under the circumstances."
The court found standard contract principles still apply in the internet setting. That when a benefit is offered subject to stated conditions, and the offeree makes a decision to take the benefit with knowledge of the terms of the offer, the taking constitutes acceptance of the terms, which accordingly become binding on the offeree.