from the United States District Court for the District of
Delaware in No. 1:11-cv-01100-GMS, Judge Gregory M. Sleet.
P. Moran, Holland & Knight, LLP, Washington, DC, argued
for plaintiff-appellant. Also represented by Anthony J. Fuga,
Jeffery A. Key, Key & Associates, Chicago, IL, argued for
Newman, Lourie, and Chen, Circuit Judges.
Lourie, Circuit Judge.
Electro Oy ("Polar") appeals from the decision of
the United States District Court for the District of Delaware
granting Suunto Oy's ("Suunto") motion to
dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction. See Polar
Electro Oy v. Suunto Oy, No. 11-1100, 2015 WL 2248439
(D. Del. May 12, 2015). Because the district court erred in
determining that Suunto lacked sufficient minimum contacts
with Delaware to support specific jurisdiction, we
vacate and remand.
a Finnish company based in Finland, owns U.S. Patents 5, 611,
346 and 6, 537, 227, directed to a method and apparatus for
measuring heart rates during physical exercise and athletic
performance. Polar sued Suunto, Amer Sports Winter &
Outdoor ("ASWO"), and Firstbeat Technologies Oy
("Firstbeat") in the United States District Court
for the District of Delaware, alleging that the defendants
infringed its patents, directly and indirectly, through the
manufacture, use, sale, offer for sale, and importation of
certain Suunto products.
is a Finnish company with a principal place of business and
manufacturing facilities in Finland. ASWO is a Delaware
corporation with a principal place of business in Utah.
Suunto and ASWO are sister companies, ultimately owned by the
same parent company. ASWO distributes Suunto's products
in the United States pursuant to a distribution agreement.
J.A. 352–66. Under that agreement, Suunto is
responsible for supplying the products from Finland and for
providing "outbound logistics services." J.A. 358.
supplier, Suunto is obligated to ship its products to
addresses specified by ASWO. Id. According to Polar,
the accused Suunto products are shipped via a standard
ordering process from Finland to the United States, which
comprises: (1) Suunto receiving an order for a product; (2)
Suunto packaging that order at its factory in Finland; (3)
Suunto then placing the packaged product on its shipping dock
for a third-party shipper to pick up; and (4) the third-party
shipper delivering the order to an address provided by ASWO,
such as the address of a U.S. retailer. Appellant's Br.
8.[*] ASWO pays for shipping, and title to the
goods passes from Suunto to ASWO at Suunto's shipping
dock in Finland. At least ninety-four accused products have
been shipped from Finland to retailers in Delaware using that
standard ordering process. J.A. 293–94. At least three
retail stores in Delaware sell the accused Suunto products.
also owns the website, www.suunto.com/us. Customers can use
the "Dealer Locator" feature on that website to
locate retailers in Delaware that sell Suunto products. ASWO
maintains that feature, however. In addition, customers can
order Suunto products on the Suunto website. ASWO fulfills
such online orders via an e-commerce platform that ASWO owns.
At least eight online sales have been made in Delaware. J.A.
district court, Suunto filed a motion to dismiss the
complaint against it for lack of personal jurisdiction. The
district court held Suunto's motion in abeyance while the
parties conducted jurisdictional discovery. After the
completion of jurisdictional discovery, Suunto renewed its
motion, which the district court granted without an
evidentiary hearing. Polar, 2015 WL 2248439, at *1.
district court first considered whether exercising
jurisdiction over Suunto would be proper under the Delaware
long arm statute, Del. Code Ann. tit. 10, § 3104(c). The
court found that the specific-jurisdiction provisions, §
3104(c)(1) and (c)(3), were not met because Suunto did not
directly sell the accused products in Delaware.
Polar, 2015 WL 2248439, at *3. Nevertheless, the
court found the long arm statute satisfied under a "dual
jurisdiction" theory, as articulated by the Delaware
Superior Court in Boone v. Oy Partek Ab, 724 A.2d
1150, 1157–58 (Del. Super. Ct. 1997),
aff'd, 707 A.2d 765 (Del. 1998), with the
partial satisfaction of § 3104(c)(1) and (c)(4).
Polar, 2015 WL 2248439, at *4. The court found that
Polar demonstrated Suunto's "intent to serve the
Delaware market"; and that "this intent result[ed]
in the introduction of the product into the market and . . .
[the] cause of action ar[ose] from injuries caused by that
product." Id. The court noted that under the
Delaware dual-jurisdiction law, an intent to serve the U.S.
market is sufficient to establish an intent to serve the
Delaware market. Id. (citing Power Integrations,
Inc. v. BCD Semiconductor Corp., 547 F.Supp.2d 365, 373
(D. Del. 2008)). The court thus found that Polar proved the
intent element based on Suunto's relationship with its
U.S. distributor, ASWO.
district court next considered whether exercising
jurisdiction over Suunto comports with due process. The court
relied on J. McIntyre Machinery, Ltd. v. Nicastro,
564 U.S. 873 (2011), and concluded that Suunto did not have
sufficient contacts with Delaware to support specific
jurisdiction. Polar, 2015 WL 2248439, at *5–6.
The court found that Suunto sold its products through ASWO in
the United States, and that the record only indicated that
Suunto had a general intent to serve the U.S. market at
large, without any particular focus on Delaware. Although
ASWO's dealings with Delaware retailers and customers
were foreseeable, the court reasoned, there was not
"something more" in Suunto's activities
directed toward Delaware beyond placing its products into the
stream of commerce. Id. at *5. The court also noted
that it was ASWO who maintained the "Dealer
Locator" feature on Suunto's website, that the
website listed Delaware along with other states, and that the
limited online orders were fulfilled by ASWO, not Suunto.
Id. The court thus reasoned that those facts did not
show "special" attention to Delaware by Suunto.
Id. The court therefore concluded that due process
considerations prevented its exercise of jurisdiction over
the district court dismissed the complaint against Suunto for
lack of personal jurisdiction. ASWO and Firstbeat remained in
the suit. Polar moved for entry of final judgment under
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(b). The district court
granted the motion and entered final judgment in favor of
Suunto and against Polar. Polar timely appealed to this
court. We have jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. §
patent case, we review a district court's determination
of personal jurisdiction without deference, applying Federal
Circuit law to jurisdictional issues that are
"intimately involved with the substance of the patent
laws." Grober v. Mako Prods., Inc., 686 F.3d
1335, 1345 (Fed. Cir. 2012) (internal quotation marks and
citation omitted). We review any factual findings underlying
the jurisdictional determination for clear error.
case such as this, a plaintiff need only make a prima facie
showing of personal jurisdiction where, as here, the parties
conducted jurisdictional discovery, the jurisdictional facts
are in dispute, and the district court determined personal
jurisdiction without an evidentiary hearing. Celgard, LLC
v. SK Innovation Co., 792 F.3d 1373, 1378 (Fed. Cir.
2015). Under ...