Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Retaining In-State Negotiating Agent Creates Sufficient Contacts to Exercise Personal Jurisdiction Over Patentee

The court denied defendant's motion to dismiss plaintiff's declaratory relief action for lack of personal jurisdiction. "[Defendant] is in a substantially different position from that of a patentee who has merely sent letters of the sort considered in [Red Wing Shoe Co. v. Hockerson-Halberstadt, Inc., 148 F.3d 1355, 1361 (Fed. Cir. 1998) (sending an infringement letter, without more, is insufficient to exercise jurisdiction over an out-of-state patentee)]. [Defendant's] sole business lies in licensing its extensive technology portfolio. It hired an intermediary based in California with the undisputed intent that negotiations between that intermediary and [plaintiff] would take place in this state. Even assuming that [defendant] did not particularly care where [its negotiating agent] performed the necessary preparatory work for those negotiations, it certainly could have foreseen that some substantial part of it might take place in California, as it undisputedly did."

Sandisk Corporation v. Round Rock Research, LLC, 3-11-cv-05243 (CAND February 16, 2012, Order) (Seeborg, J.)

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