D. Del. Magistrate Finds Prima Facie Case for Jurisdictional Discovery

When faced with a credible claim of lack of personal jurisdiction, a court has two options: dismiss the action or order jurisdictional discovery. In a recent stream-of-commerce decision, Magistrate Judge Leonard P. Stark opted for the latter.

In the underyling litigation, the aggrieved manufacturer insisted that it had no knowledge that its accused products would enter Delaware. Rejecting this line of reasoning, the Court found that delivery to the United States could satisfy the stream-of-commerce test:

Any evidence that Defendants use [a distributor] to deliver the accused chips to the United States, from which they might enter Delaware, may constitute evidence supporting a finding of intent to serve the Delaware market. (Op. at 20 n.7)

According to the Court, the fact that the defendant “tout[ed] its established distribution channels in the U.S., as well as its close relationships with end users . . . throughout this country,” justified further discovery.

Like the Internet-access personal jurisdiction cases, this decision expands on a common theme in the District of Delaware: if you serve the United States markets, you serve Delaware’s as well.

Power Integrations Inc. v. BCD Semiconductor Corp., C.A. No. 07-633-JJF-LPS (D. Del. April 11, 2008) (Stark, M.J.).

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