Litigation: WHEN and WHERE Should Amazon Sellers File a Lawsuit When Suing

Amazon sellers. I’m going to talk to you a little bit about litigation. And specifically, where you sue.

If you have to sue someone, where do you file that case?

There are three factors to consider if you decide you are suing:

One is jurisdiction. Jurisdiction means, does the court have power over the party that you want to sue?

The next factor is the venue. Number two, the venue is which courthouse or which state are you going to bring it to? Usually, Amazon sellers are suing people in federal courthouses, but you have to pick which venue, which specific courthouse you’re going to bring the lawsuit in. So you have to have proper jurisdiction. So you have power, a proper venue.

Then I really want you to think about the third factor, which I think is the most important. And it really is the logistics. You want to make sure that not only do you pick a court that has jurisdiction over the other side, that has a venue that’s appropriate, but think it through a couple of steps ahead.

Where can you sue that defendant to limit the extent of the litigation? Because let’s say you have every right to sue the other side in the federal court, in your home state. It’s more convenient for you. That other seller or that brand is selling products in your state. So you’ve got your jurisdiction. You can bring it to that venue, but the other side might bring a motion to dismiss and ask the court to transfer it back to their home court.

Now, I don’t really think it matters which state you sue in, as long as you’re sort of on the same level. Of course, you don’t want to sue Amazon, the federal court in Seattle. They’re just too powerful politically, but it might be in your interest to sue the other side where they are located. Because if you do that, they can’t go to court and argue that it’s inconvenient.

So if you are going to proceed with litigation, you want to make sure you are doing it as efficiently and strategically as possible. And which courthouse you choose to file in is sometimes a really, really important decision.

If you want to learn more about specific areas of law, we have our books to download:

Copyright Law For Amazon Sellers, Trademark Law For Amazon Sellers, we even wrote a book if you’re sourcing in China on Chinese Intellectual Property Law for Amazon sellers. And of course, the only book of its kind available anywhere, the Amazon Law Library, where we picked apart hundreds of cases where Amazon was a party, so we could identify what they argued and then use it against them when we go against Amazon.

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