Judge Andrews finds no personal jurisdiction over 7 of 8 defendants, denies jurisdictional discovery.
Today, Judge Andrews issued a memorandum opinion finding that the Court could not exercise personal jurisdiction over seven of eight defendants. Serverside Group Limited, et al. v. CPI Card Group – Minnesota Inc., et al., C.A. No. 11-559-RGA (D. Del. Feb. 17, 2012). The plaintiffs in the case were an English company and a New York corporation, neither of which had business operations in Delaware. The first group of defendants was comprised of two Iowa corporations with principal places of business in Iowa and no operations in Delaware. The second group was comprised of six defendants, only one of which was a Delaware corporation and none of which had business operations in Delaware. The plaintiffs alleged that the Court should exercise personal jurisdiction over all eight defendants under Delaware’s long-arm statute, based on their allegation that each defendant “made, used, sold, and/or offered for sale infringing technology in Delaware.” The Court was not persuaded by the plaintiffs’ “boilerplate” jurisdictional allegations, and emphasized that despite attaching to their brief the results of a seemingly exhaustive scouring of the Internet for evidence that the defendants had sold or offered to sell infringing products in Delaware, no such evidence appeared to exist. In reaching this determination, the Court noted that “offers to sell” are defined by traditional contract analysis, and the plaintiffs’ suggestion that “advertisements that are in trade magazines that circulate in Delaware . . . [that] invite a call ‘for more information’ are not an offer to sell under a contract analysis.” Id. at 6 n.3. Similarly, “a webinar put on by one of the defendants that will discuss the advantages of [purportedly infringing technology] is not an ‘offer to sell.’” Id. at 6 n.3. Accordingly, the Court found that seven of the eight defendants were not subject to Delaware’s long-arm jurisdiction. Id. at 8. Finally, finding that the plaintiffs’ request for jurisdictional discovery was made without any citation of authority supporting their request, and mostly sought information the Court viewed as irrelevant to the long-arm jurisdiction analysis, Judge Andrews denied the plaintiffs' request for jurisdictional discovery, explaining that the case would be transferred to the Northern District of Iowa under 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a) (as to the Iowa defendants), and indicating that further factual support would be needed to justify transferring the case against the remaining defendants to the District of Colorado to ensure that venue was one where the case "might have been brought."