A blog about patent, copyright and trademark law in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York

Court Permits Email Sevice of Summons and Complaint

In a January 28, 2014 ruling, Judge Paul A. Engelmayer granted plaintiff Richard Noble’s motion for email service on the defendants, which consist of “a number of websites and individuals” that “are party of an intertwined, opaque online T-Shirt-selling enterprise that has sold T-Shirts bearing the ‘Bo Knows” photograph [of Bo Jackson], in violation of Noble’s rights” in the copyright of the photograph. Judge Engelmayer noted that alternative service was permitted under New York CPLR § 308(5) where traditional service is impractical, and ruled that “Noble has more than shown the impracticability of traditional service – he has shown that actual prior attempt, performed with due diligence, have been unsuccessful.” The Court also found that email service comports with Due Process because “Noble has served the defendants at email addresses that they listed on their websites and on confirmation emails sent to [Noble’s] lawyer, Edward Greenberg, after Greenberg purchased T-Shirts from defendants.” Judge Engelmayer was “persuaded that these emails are likely to reach the defendants. As a result, the email service comports with the requirements of due process.”
The general information and thoughts posted to this blog are provided only as an informational service to the web community and do not constitute solicitation or provision of legal advice. Nothing on this blog is intended to create an attorney-client relationship and nothing posted constitutes legal advice. You should understand that the posts by the author, who is an attorney at U.S. law firm Allegaert, Berger & Vogel, may or may not reflect the views of that firm and that the author of this blog is only authorized to practice law in the jurisdictions in which he is properly licensed to do so. For additional information, click here.