March 24, 2014
A website and application developer whose product connects people with nearby users may serve a Turkish defendant with a trademark infringement lawsuit by email and through Facebook and LinkedIn, a Virginia federal judge has ruled.
According to the judge’s opinion, Gökhan Örün allegedly lives and does business in Turkey, operating the domain www.whonear.me.
Virginia-based WhosHere Inc. contacted Örün, claiming that his domain and geolocation application infringes its trademark, the opinion said.
Purportedly, Örün responded to emails WhosHere sent to email@example.com, but then he stopped communicating and WhosHere filed the suit, the opinion notes.
WhosHere tried serving Örün under the Hague Convention, but the Turkish government could not find Örün at his last known address.
WhosHere asked to serve process via Örün’s two email addresses and the social networking sites, and the judge allowed the motion.
WhosHere Inc. v. Orun d/b/a WhoNear et al., No. 1:13-cv-00526, 2014 WL 670817 (E.D. Va., Alexandria Div. Feb. 20, 2014).
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Opinion: 2014 WL 670817