Pebble Beach Company v. Caddy

Pebble Beach Company v. Caddy


Caddy a dual citizen owns a bed and breakfast overlooking a rocky beach in England named “Pebble Beach”

Caddy worked for a short period in Carmel, CA

Runs a promotional “non-interactive” website

website lacks a reservation system

Pebble Beach had the burden to prove Caddy had “performed some act…or otherwise purposefully availed himself” privileges of the forum state.

Procedural History

Pebble Beach sues Caddy under the Lanham Act for trademark infringement and the California Business and Professions Code for intentional infringement and dilution

Caddy moves to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction

Because Caddy didn’t expressly direct his conduct in California the district court found that it lacked personal jurisdiction

Pebble beach appeals the dismissal for lack of jurisdiction

Rule of Law

When a website owner puts up an essentially passive content website there is no grounds for PJ (Supreme Ct has not yet considered this and is up to states to interpret)


Judgement Affirmed


The “minimum contacts” test, with three mandatory requirements, was used to see if California had personal jurisdiction over Caddy.  Pebble Beach’s argument failed under the first requirement had Caddy “purposefully availed himself of the privileges of conducting activities in the forum” state.and

1. the defendant performed some act or consummated some transaction within the forum or otherwise purposefully availed himself the privileges of conducting activities in the forum

2. and, the claim arises out of or results from the defendant’s forum related activities

3. and, the exercise of jurisdiction is reasonable

Calder v Jones the Calder test

1. committed intentional act

2. aimed at forum state

3. caused harm know by def to be in forum state

Courts warn not to rely too heavily on the 3 item in Calder as something more is needed.

Metropolitan Life Ins Co v Neaves insurance company had direct interaction with forum state by sending a letter addressed to the plaintiff subjecting them to PJ

Bancroft & Masters Co v Augusta National Augusta sent a letter requiring Bancroft to sue or loose the domain PJ affirmed

Cybersell Inc v Cybersell Inc when a website owner puts up an essentially passive content website there is no grounds for PJ

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