Judge Robinson rules on motion to dismiss or, in the alternative, to transfer

Judge Sue L. Robinson recently ruled on a defendant’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction or, in the alternative, to transfer to the Western District of Washington.  Segway Inc., et al. v. Inventist, Inc., Civ. No. 15-808-SLR (D. Del. Apr. 25, 2016).  Judge Robinson found that the defendant was subject to personal jurisdiction in Delaware under the “stream-of-commerce” or “dual jurisdiction” framework because (1) the defendant operated a website (including an online store) that broadly promoted the sale of its accused product, including in Delaware (where plaintiff representatives made three online purchases); (2) the defendant’s accused product was available to customers in Delaware through third parties Amazon.com and Brookstone.com; and (3) the defendant’s accused product was advertised as being available through national retail chains that maintain stores in Delaware.  The Court found that these factors supported a finding of personal jurisdiction under the Delaware long-arm statute, and also a finding that an exercise of such jurisdiction would comport with due process.

With respect to the alternative motion to transfer the case to the Western District of Washington, Judge Robinson found that while Delaware was an appropriate forum under the Third Circuit’s Jumara standard, in this case transfer was warranted.  The Court explained, “[a]lthough defendant clearly has global aspirations, those aspirations are more reflected in its promotional materials than its physical or fiscal presence in Delaware.  At this moment, then, I am persuaded that defendant is accurately characterized as a regional enterprise for whom litigating in Delaware will impose an unreasonable burden.”

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