District Court Asserts Personal Jurisdiction Over Israeli Manufacturer Whose Sole U.S. Distributor is Located in Forum State

The World in U.S. Courts: Fall 2014 - Personal Jurisdiction | August.18.2014

Corning Optical Communications Wireless v. Solid Inc. et al., United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, August 18, 2014

Plaintiff Corning Optical Communications Wireless, an Israeli company, filed suit in Virginia against Defendants Solid, a Korean supplier of optical products, and Reach, a California-based distributor of those products, alleging patent infringement.  Defendants moved to transfer the action to the Northern District of California.  The District Court observed that a defendant's desire to litigate elsewhere is not sufficient to support a transfer, among other reasons because federal rules require that the court independently conclude that the proposed transferee court could obtain personal jurisdiction over the defendants using traditional tests.  Here, that requirement was satisfied.  Reach, located in California, was Solid's exclusive U.S. distributor and its sales were the source of the alleged infringement.  The Court concluded that Solid "knew it was affiliating itself with a [business in California] in a manner that would lead to substantial contacts with California," and that an assertion of specific personal jurisdiction was appropriate.

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