Judge Andrews dismisses defendant for lack of personal jurisdiction and grants transfer to District of Maryland.

In MyKey Technology Inc. v. CPR Tools Inc., et al., C.A. No. 11-443-RGA (D. Del. Sept. 10, 2012), Judge Richard G. Andrews granted a motion to dismiss filed by defendant Intelligent Computer Solutions, Inc. (“ICS”), on the grounds of lack of personal jurisdiction, and also granted a motion to transfer venue to the District of Maryland filed by plaintiff MyKey Technology, Inc. (“MyKey”).

Judge Andrews granted ICS’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction after permitting jurisdictional discovery to clarify the issue. ICS is not incorporated in Delaware, and MyKey itself conceded that there was “no general jurisdiction over [ICS].” Alternatively, MyKey argued that because ICS had a website that would permit Delawareans to purchase the infringing products, ICS had “offered to sell the infringing products to Delawareans,” and thus specific jurisdiction was present. Judge Andrews, however, relied on AFTG-TG, LLC v. Nuvoton Tech. Corp., No. 2011-1306, 2011-1307, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18030 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 24, 2012), to find that the existence of such a website was insufficient to satisfy the requirements of specific jurisdiction. See Nuvoton Tech. Corp., 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 18030, at *4 (noting specific jurisdiction requires defendant to “purposefully direct[] activities at the forum’s residents”). Judge Andrews also found that other indicia of specific jurisdiction were lacking, as there was no evidence that the infringing products had ever been sold in or shipped to Delaware. Lacking general and specific jurisdiction, Judge Andrews granted the motion to dismiss, leaving two defendants—CPR Tools, Inc. and Logicube, Inc.—in this patent infringement suit.

In addition to granting the motion to dismiss, Judge Andrews granted MyKey’s motion to transfer venue from the District of Delaware to the District of Maryland pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a). Section 1404(a) grants a district court the ability to “transfer any civil action to any other district or division where it might have been brought.” Moreover, the District of Delaware typically conducts a detailed analysis of the private and public interest factors set forth in Jumara v. State Farm Ins. Co., 55 F.3d 873 (3d Cir. 1995) to assess whether efficiency and expense considerations warrant transfer. See Jumara, 55 F.3d at 879; see also Mosaid Technologies, Inc. v. Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications (USA) Inc., C.A. No. 11-598-SLR (D. Del. Aug. 16, 2012) (analyzing a motion to transfer under Jumara factors). Under the § 1404(a)/Jumara framework, the movant has the burden of establishing the propriety of transfer. Jumara, 55 F.3d at 879.

ICS had been the only defendant that was opposed to the transfer. However, as discussed above, Judge Andrews dismissed ICS from the suit, rendering its opposition moot. Because the remaining defendants did not contest the transfer, Judge Andrews found that MyKey had sustained its burden to establish the propriety of the transfer despite “rather sparse” allegations with regard to personal jurisdiction in Maryland. Moreover, in light of the lack of contention, it was unnecessary for Judge Andrews to conduct a detailed Jumara analysis. Judge Andrews determined that transfer was appropriate because it “appear[ed] that this [was] a civil action that could have been brought in the District of Maryland.”
At one point in the order, Judge Andrews noted that with the recent amendment to 28 U.S.C. § 1404(a), a district court can transfer a suit “to any district or division to which all parties have consented.” § 1404(a). However, due to the effective date of the amendment, it did not apply to the instant matter.

MyKey Technology Inc. v. CPR Tools Inc., et al., C.A. No. 11-443-RGA (D. Del. Sept. 10, 2012).

%d bloggers like this: