Sometime after the jazz musician Cecil McBee played in Japan for the first time, someone opened a CECIL McBEE clothing store there and now it’s a successful chain. McBee has sued in Japan under a theory of right of personality, with mixed success. A front page article in today’s Wall Street Journal on the on-going dispute indicates (without comment) that McBee’s US lawyers had agents order clothes from Japan to be shipped here. McBee then used those sales to allege personal jurisdiction and sued the Japanese chain store here. Hmmmm. There are cases that have rejected this ploy, stating that a plaintiff may not manufacture personal jurisdiction over a defendant. See, e.g. Maritz v. Cybergold (discussed in this journal article).
iBusinessLaw.info discussed the District Court case here and Perkins Coie discussed it here. It is not clear whether the three sales to Maine referred to in the case are the ‘trap’ sales referred to in the article.