By Anthony Conte
In a case centered on virtual property, personal jurisdiction can quickly become an issue. In Bragg v. Linden Research, Inc., Plaintiff Mark Bragg was suing Defendants Linden Research and its CEO Phillip Rosedale for confiscation of Bragg’s virtual property. The court in Bragg reviews a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, only addressing whether there is specific jurisdiction, as Plaintiff does not claim that there is general jurisdiction. In discussing the motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, the court in Bragg seeks to determine if the defendant has minimum contacts in the forum as well as if the assertion of personal jurisdiction would violate traditional notions of fair play and justice.
To determine if the minimal contacts requirement is met, a court may determine that representations that are made nationally may constitute sufficient contacts for the exercise of specific personal jurisdiction. Additionally, the court in Bragg reasoned that, “[I]f a defendant website operator intentionally targets the site to the forum state and/or knowingly conducts business with forum state residents via the site, then the “purposeful availment” requirement is satisfied.”
To determine whether the exercise of personal jurisdiction would violate traditional notions of fair play and justice, the court will evaluate, “(1) the burden on the defendant, (2) the forum State’s interest in adjudicating the dispute, (3) the plaintiff’s interest in obtaining convenient and effective relief, (4) the interstate judicial system’s interest in obtaining the most efficient resolution of controversies and (5) the shared interest of the several states in furthering fundamental substantive social policies.” In a virtual property lawsuit, prong 2 will often be satisfied, as in Bragg where the court reasoned, “Pennsylvania has a substantial interest in protecting its residents from allegedly misleading representations that induce them to purchase virtual property.”
Overall, as we see in Bragg, the novel challenge of determining personal jurisdiction in a virtual property lawsuit will rely heavily on the landmark cases that have historically dictated personal jurisdiction such as International Shoe, Burger King, and World-Wide Volkswagen.
 See generally Bragg v. Linden Research, Inc. 487 F. Supp. 2d 593 (E.D. Pa. 2007) (discussing a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction in a virtual property lawsuit).
 Id. at 597.
 Id. at 598 (citing World–Wide Volkswagen Corp. v. Woodson, 444 U.S. 286 (1980); Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462 (1985); Int’l Shoe Co. v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310 (1945).
 Bragg, 487 F. Supp. 2d at 599; Wellness Publishing v. Barefoot 128 F. App’x 266 (3d Cir. 2005).
 Bragg, 487 F. Supp. 2d at 599 (citing Toys “R” Us, Inc. v. Step Two, S.A., 318 F.3d 446, 452 (3d Cir.2003)).
 Id. (citing Burger King, 471 U.S. at 477).
 Bragg, 487 F. Supp. 2d at 602.
 See generally id. at 593.