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December 16, 2008

Jurisdiction

The appeals court is sponsoring a shell game against folks threatened with patent infringement by foreign companies. Aten, a Taiwanese company, affiliated with IOGEAR, sent threatening letters of infringement regarding patented KVM switch technology. Recipient Avocent sought declaratory judgment in Alabama, where it is located. The district court pitched the case for lack of personal jurisdiction, stating that the letters weren't enough, and 2-1, CAFC panel Judges Linn and Schall agreed. In dissent, Judge Newman argued that the majority had "no basis for this delicate distinction" upon which they relied, that they failed to grasp the big picture, and that fairness was paramount "where there is no other forum for this complaint." (CAFC 2007-1553).

Posted by Patent Hawk at December 16, 2008 8:20 PM | Declaratory Judgment