The World in U.S. Courts: Spring 2014 - Personal Jurisdiction | March.12.2014
Defendant Neil Glover, a former employee of Plaintiff Tendeka, Inc., moved to dismiss claims against him in U.S. District Court in Texas based on a lack of personal jurisdiction. Tendeka alleged that Glover breached his employment contract and interfered with another contract by impermissibly downloading and taking proprietary confidential information when he left the company and formed a competing company, Swell X. Tendeka alleged that Glover used the confidential information to develop a competing product using Tendeka’s proprietary formulations and designs. Tendeka further alleged that Swell X secretly worked with Elite Elastomers, Inc., a U.S. corporation, who had contracted with Tendeka, to create the rival product.
Tendeka is a Netherlands corporation and Glover is a citizen of the United Kingdom resident in Scotland. Although Glover’s corporation, Swell X, has a U.S. sales representative in Texas, Glover claimed he visited Texas during his employment with Tendeka only to discuss product development with Elite. Since leaving Tendeka, Glover claimed his contact with Elite had been in Scotland or Mississippi. As such, the court found that Tendeka had failed to demonstrate that Glover had directed any activities in allegedly interfering with contract towards Texas.