Posted On: February 28, 2008

D. Del. One of Least Reversed Districts Nationwide

The District of Delaware is among the least reversed jurisdictions on claim construction rulings, according to a study conducted by David Schwartz, a professor at the John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Among the top five patent jurisdictions nationwide, Delaware (No. 4) had the lowest reversal rate: only 22.2 percent of the district's Markman decisions are overturned.

Among the top fourteen jurisdictions, only the Western District of Wisconsin, with 232 patent filings in the decade 1995-2005, had a lower reversal rate — 21.1 percent. But considering Delaware's 1112 patent lawsuits in the same time period, Delaware's reversal rate, at least according to this survey, is the lowest in the country among high-filing patent jurisdictions.

Read the study, published by Patently-O, here.

Posted On: February 8, 2008

New District of Delaware Filings 2008

1/25: Endo Pharms. Inc. and Penwest Pharms. Co. v. Impax Laboratories, Inc. (patent infringement)
1/25: Forest Laboratories Inc., Forest Laboratories Holdings Ltd., Merz Pharma GmbH & Co. KGaA, Merz Pharms. GmbH v. Dr. Reddy's Laboratories, Inc., Dr. Reddy's Laboratories Ltd., Genpharm Inc., Interpharm Holdings Inc., Mylan Pharms. Inc., Ranbaxy Inc., Kendle Int'l Inc., Sun India Pharm. Industries Ltd. (patent infringement)
1/29: LivePerson, Inc. v. NextCard, LLC and MArshall Credit Strategies, LLC (patent non-infringement)
1/29: Belden Technologies, Inc. and Belden CDT (Canada) Inc. v. Superior Essex Inc. and Superior Essex Communications LP (patent infringement)
1/31: Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. v. Apotex Inc. and Apotex Corp. (patent infringement)
2/1: The Procter & Gamble Co. v. Teva Pharms. USA, Inc. (patent infringement)
2/1: David S. Miller v. Peggy R. Durney, Michael J. Durney and Laundry Loops (patent infringement)
2/1: Andrew Paul Leonard v. Stemtech Health Sciences Inc., et al. (copyright infringement)
2/6: CSC Brands, LP and Campbell Soup Co. v. National Harvest Food Group, LLC (trademark infringement)

Posted On: February 1, 2008

Holding Company Subject to Personal Jurisdiction Based on Subsidiary's Conduct

One avenue to obtaining personal jurisdiction over a non-resident defendant is to assert the familiar "stream of commerce" theory of long-arm jurisdiction: the foreign party purposefully shipped the accused product through established distribution channels, thereby causing injury in the forum. But does the jurisdictional calculus change when the defendant is a patent holding company, operating solely through its subsidiaries? According to District of Delaware Chief Judge Gregory M. Sleet, it does not.

In a recent decision, the Court rejected the claim that a Danish holding company with no connections to Delaware can escape litigation in this district. By collaborating with its subsidiaries on the design, production, and distribution of the accused product, the holding company can properly be said to have directed its activities to the state.

"[The holding company] acted in consort with its subsidiaries to place the accused products in the stream of commerce; it knew that the accused products foreseeably would be sold in the United States and Delaware; and [its] conduct and connections with the forum state were such that it should reasonably have anticipated being brought to court here."

Notably, the Court accepted, as evidence of foreseeability, a subsidiary's website listing of a Delaware vendor selling the accused products. For purposes of personal jurisdiction, at least, a holding company now cannot hide behind the activities of its subordinate entities.

Energy Transportation Group, Inc. v. William Demant Holding A/S, C.A. No. 05-422-GMS (D. Del. Jan. 4, 2008) (Sleet, C.J.).