Search Team

Search by Last Name
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z

Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. v. Plano Encryption Technologies LLC

Notice Letters Held to Establish DJ Jurisdiction in Recipients’ Judicial District

Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. v. Plano Encryption Technologies LLC910 F.3d 1199 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 7, 2018) (NEWMAN, Wallach, Stoll (add’l views)) (N.D. Tex.: Godbey) (3 of 5 stars)

Fed Cir reverses dismissal of Jack Henry’s DJ complaint. The district court erred in holding that PET (a Texas company with its registered address in Plano (i.e., EDTX) was not subject to personal jurisdiction in NDTX. Applying a minimum contacts analysis, and citing the recent opinion in New World, 859 F.3d 1032 (Fed. Cir. 2017), PET’s sending of letters alleging infringement to various banks in NDTX satisfied the “purposeful direction” and “arises out of” prongs of the specific jurisdiction test in Inamed, 249 F.3d 1356 (Fed. Cir. 2001). The exercise of jurisdiction in NDTX would be both reasonable and fair, and the opinion notes that PET did “not argue that litigating in [NDTX] would be unduly burdensome, or that any of the other factors [in World-Wide Volkswagen, 444 U.S. 286 (1980)] supports a finding that jurisdiction would be unfair.” Op. at 11. Neither Red Wing Shoe, 148 F.3d 1355 (Fed. Cir. 1998), nor Avocent, 552 F.3d 1324 (Fed. Cir. 2008), is contradictory. Those cases did not create a rule that patent enforcement letters can never provide the basis for jurisdiction in a declaratory judgment action.

The opinion also rejects PET’s argument that Jack Henry lacks standing. As the indemnitor for the banks PET accused of infringement, Jack Henry has standing per Microsoft, 755 F.3d 899 (Fed. Cir. 2014), et al.

Additional views: Judge Stoll calls on the Fed Cir to revisit Red Wing and its progeny. She expresses concern that those cases, which are sometimes read as protecting a patentee’s right to send notice letters without invoking personal jurisdiction in the suspected infringer’s home district, may not adequately assess the factors for evaluating the fairness/reasonableness of jurisdiction laid out in Burger King, 471 U.S. 462 (1985).

KEYWORDS: PERSONAL JURISDICTION; MINIMUM CONTACTS; DUE PROCESS