By Memorandum Opinion entered by The Honorable Sue L. Robinson in Intellectual Ventures I LLC, et al. v. Ricoh Company, Ltd., et al., Civil Action No. 13-474-SLR (D.Del., September 12, 2014), the Court granted defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2), based on lack of personal jurisdiction over defendant Ricoh Company, Ltd. (“RCL”).
Plaintiffs asserted two bases for personal jurisdiction over RCL under Delaware’s long-arm statute: (1) general jurisdiction under section (c)(4) based on RCL’s systematic presence in Delaware as the head of a “global network;” and (2) “dual jurisdiction” under sections (c)(1) and (c)(4) based on RCL’s intentional injection of products into the “stream of commerce” using established business channels. See id. at 6. In light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding earlier this year in Daimler AG v. Bauman, 11-965, 2014 WL 113486, at *10 (January 14, 2014), the District Court found unavailing Plaintiff’s argument that general jurisdiction was appropriate based on RCL’s relationship with its wholly-owned subsidiaries. See id. at 7. The Court also found that there was no evidence in the record to support a finding of dual jurisdiction. See id. at 8. Because Plaintiffs did not establish personal jurisdiction over RCL under Delaware’s long-arm statute, the Court noted that it did not need to address whether the exertion of jurisdiction over RCL would satisfy the Due Process Clause. See id.
A copy of the Memorandum Opinion is attached.
The take away from this Opinion is that, when drafting Complaints where you have defendants that are entities that are not Delaware corporations, parties need to be mindful to be specific enough in their allegations of jurisdiction that they set forth and establish the appropriate bases for personal jurisdiction over the foreign entity under the Delaware long-arm statute and why the exercise of such jurisdiction comports with the Due Process Clause. Plaintiffs need to be prepared, if there is a jurisdictional challenge, to present sworn affidavits or other competent evidence to meet their burden of establishing with reasonable particularity that sufficient “minimum contacts” have occurred between the foreign defendant and Delaware to support personal jurisdiction in the District of Delaware.