Digital Equipment Corp. v. AltaVista Technology, Inc., 960 F. Supp. 456 (D. Mass. 1997) (full-text).
Factual Background Edit
In early 1996, Digital Equipment purchased an assignment of ATI's rights to the AltaVista trademark, and immediately licensed back to ATI the right to use the AltaVista name as part of ATI's corporate name and as part of ATI's website address — http://www.altavista.com. However, the license agreement prohibited ATI from using AltaVista as "the name of a product or service offering."
Trial Court Proceedings Edit
ATI moved to dismiss the lawsuit on the ground that the court lacked personal jurisdiction over ATI, a California corporation. The district court denied the motion. The court made note of the complexities of applying traditional jurisdictional concepts to Internet activity:
|“||The Internet has no territorial boundaries. . . . Physical boundaries typically have framed legal boundaries, in effect creating signposts that warn that we will be required after crossing to abide by different rules. To impose traditional territorial concepts on the commercial uses of the Internet has dramatic implications, opening the Web user up to inconsistent regulations throughout fifty states, indeed, throughout the globe.||”|