The World in U.S. Courts: Fall 2013 - Personal Jurisdiction
Defendant Beissbarth GmbH, a German corporation, moved to dismiss Snap-On Inc.’s claims against it for patent infringement based on a lack of personal jurisdiction. Specifically, the plaintiff asserted jurisdiction under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 4(k)(2), which provides federal personal jurisdiction over a defendant who has sufficient contacts with the U.S. as whole but lacks sufficient contacts with any one state. To establish Rule 4(k)(2) jurisdiction, a plaintiff is required to show that while the U.S. defendant is not subject to personal jurisdiction in any one state, the exercise of jurisdiction nonetheless comports with due process.
Beissbarth argued that this requirement could not be satisfied because it had conceded jurisdiction in Virginia. But the court rejected Beissbarth’s attempt to “play jurisdictional hide-the-ball” because Beissbarth had previously disputed jurisdiction. The court also found that Beissbarth’s burden of travelling to U.S. was outweighed by the U.S.’s interest in adjudicating an infringement of its patents.