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NexLearn, LLC v. Allen Interactions, Inc.

Website and Single Free Trial Offer Inadequate to Establish Specific Personal Jurisdiction

NexLearn, LLC v. Allen Interactions, Inc., (Fed. Cir. June 19, 2017) (MOORE, Schall, Hughes) (D. Kan.: Melgren) (3 of 5 stars)

Fed Cir affirms dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction. The district court correctly determined that NexLearn’s complaint failed to allege specific jurisdiction over Allen relative to NexLearn’s patent complaint (NexLearn did not allege general jurisdiction). The opinion discusses how Allen’s emails, presentations, and advertisements in Kansas were not relevant because they predated the asserted patent. A trial relating to the accused product was “too attenuated” to form a sufficient contact. And Allen’s execution of an NDA and a EULA including Kansas choice-of-law provisions were insufficient to confer jurisdiction per Burger King, 471 U.S. 462 (1985). Nor did operation of a website render it subject to specific jurisdiction, as there was no evidence that Allen “purposefully availed itself of Kansas [or] that NexLearn’s claim arises out of or relates to those contacts.” Op. at 10. As in Trintec, 395 F.3d 1275 (Fed. Cir. 2005), there was no evidence that the website was direct to Kansas, and there was no indication of a sale in Kansas from the website. And a single post-issuance email from Allen into Kansas offering a free trial, while relevant, was insufficient on its own to confer specific jurisdiction. Finally, the opinion also affirms the district court’s dismissal of NexLearn’s breach of contract claim for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, as the dismissal of the patent claim left no claim in the case where the district court could exercise original subject matter jurisdiction.

KEYWORDS: PERSONAL JURISDICTION (NO); SPECIFIC JURISDICTION; SUPPLEMENTAL JURISDICTION