Thursday, June 30, 2011

Twitter's "Terms of Service" Do Not Dictate Venue for Patent Infringement Claim

The court denied defendant's motion to transfer venue of plaintiff’s patent infringement claims on the basis of a forum selection clause in defendant's Terms of Service. In doing so the court expressed hesitation to establish precedent "that would potentially foster satellite litigation in every patent case involving a social networking market participant." "Should this Court decide that a social networking market participant can limit the forum in which it can be sued for patent infringement via Terms of Service governing 'access to and use of' that social networking market participant's website and services, foreseeably, other District Courts in similar cases will be called upon to decide, inter alia, whether other plaintiffs' employees ever agreed to online Terms of Service, whether those employees could bind their plaintiff employers to those Terms of Service, whether those Terms of Service contained a forum selection clause, whether any such forum selection clause was enforceable, and, as the Court is asked to decide here, whether that forum selection clause contemplated coverage of patent infringement claims. The Court refuses to set this precedent."

VS Technologies v. Twitter, Inc.
, 2-11-cv-00043 (VAED June 28, 2011, Order) (Morgan, J.)

No comments: