Three years ago, Mavrix Photo filed a $5.25-million suit against Brand Technologies, which owns the celebrity blog Gossipgirls.com, after a set of its images were used without authorisation and remuneration - "the images were a world exclusive of Black Eyed Peas singer Fergie in The Bahamas," says Mavrix Photo in a statement.
Last year, the case was dismissed with US District Judge Philip Gutierrez arguing that his court didn't have jurisdiction over Ohio-based Brand Technologies. However, on 08 August, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed Judge Gutierrez's decision.
According to Court of Appeals, Brand Technologies is subject to personal jurisdiction in California because its subsidiary - its blogs - have "specific focus on the California-centered celebrity and entertainment industries." Moreover, Brand Technologies displayed on its blog advertisements from California-based companies.
"This ruling could broadly affect the way online infringement cases are viewed in the US moving forward," claims Gareth Thomas, Mavrix Photo's director. His view is shared by his lawyer Peter Afrasiabi of the Los Angeles and Newport Beach intellectual property law firm One LLP, who says, in a statement, that the ruling is "an important decision addressing personal jurisdiction standards as applied to modern, large online businesses in the Internet 2.0 world."
The case is expected to go to court in the coming months.
Mavrix Photo has also sued the Daily Mail and Mail Online for the alleged use of 10 of its images without authorisation and remuneration. Read our full report Daily Mail sued for copyright infringement.
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