Judge Stark finds that court has personal jurisdiction over Comcast in Delaware

Judge Leonard P. Stark recently denied Comcast’s motion to dismiss for lack of jurisidiction. DN Lookup Technologies LLC v. Comcast Corporation, et al., C.A. No. 11-1181-LPS (D. Del. Oct. 1, 2012). In determining whether personal jurisdiction exists, the court first looks to Delaware’s long arm statute, 10 Del. C. § 3104(c), and then determines whether asserting personal jurisdiction would violate due process. Id. at 5-6. Plaintiff argued that the court had specific jurisdiction under Delaware’s long arm because “Comcast provide[d] infringing services in Delaware” and because “Comcast enjoy[ed] substantial revenues from its subsidiaries[.]” Id. at 7. Comcast argued that it” [did] not own, operate, sell, market, offer to sell, or otherwise provide any cable produces or services in Delaware.” Judge Stark found otherwise, however. For example, a press release on the comcast.com website notified the public of Comcast’s launch of WiFi in northern Delaware and additional hotspots in and around Wilmington, Delaware. Id. at 7-8. In addition, “the Comcast Agreement for Residential Services entered in to by Wilmington, Delaware customers directs customers to resolve problems by contact ing Comcast.” Id. at 8. In addition, Judge Stark found that plaintiff made out a prima facie case that defendant Comcast Cable Communications LLC (“CCCL”) was the agent of Comcast when providing accused services in Delaware. Id. at 8. Among other things, Comcast held “itself out to the public as being principally involved in the development, management and operation of cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.” Id. Comcast also “enjoy[ed] substantial revenues from CCCL, its wholly-owned subsidiary[, and] divert[ed] free cash flow from its subsidiaries, including CCCL, to distribute dividends to its own shareholders.” Id. at 8-9. Judge Stark also determined that due process was satisfied for the aforementioned reasons. Id. at 10-11.

DN Lookup Technologies LLC v. Comcast Corporation, et al., C.A. No. 11-1181-LPS (D. Del. Oct. 1, 2012)

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