No Personal Jurisdiction for Patent Case Against Sprint Nextel

Datascape v. Sprint Nextel (N.D. GA, 2008)

Datascape sued Sprint Nextel for infringement of its patents covering a system for linking non-standard devices to an open network.

In an interesting holding, the Federal district court in Georgia held it lacks personal jurisdiction over Sprint Nextel. It turns out that – despite indications from its website – Sprint Nextel is simply a holding company that holds stock in operating companies.

Based on the evidence presented in this case, the Court is unable to find that Sprint Nextel has contacts with the State of Georgia sufficient to confer either general or specific jurisdiction over Sprint Nextel. Moreover, as to the analysis for specific jurisdiction, in particular, the Court is unable to find, as required by Supreme Court and Federal Circuit law, that Sprint Nextel purposefully directed its activities at the State of Georgia or that the assertion of personal jurisdiction would be reasonable and fair. operating activity of Sprint Nextel, according to Mr. Andreasen, is a telephone refurbishing business in Kansas. Sprint Nextel denies manufacturing, using, selling, importing, and/or offering for sale products or services related to wireless products

9 thoughts on “No Personal Jurisdiction for Patent Case Against Sprint Nextel

  1. Stanley:

    Plaintiff did sue the other Sprint defendants — the only one that was dismissed was the holding company. The holding company, whose only business was owning its portfolio companies, was not held to be doing the business of the companies it owned for purposes of jurisdiction.

  2. I am impressed that the plaintff did not do its research and only sued the holding company. Sprint and Nextel provides service in every state in the US, and actively markets and solicits therein. So, the long-arm statute of Georgia should apply to them. Therefore, the plaintiff can file against the correct parties themselves. However, now that a lawsuit is imminent, the defendants will be able to jump the gun and file for a declaratory judgment against the patent holder in its own turf. Plaintiff should have originally named to proper defendants. Sounds like attorney malpractice to me.

  3. The new look causes pages to scroll in a manner that is not smooth in Firefox. I noticed the same thing happened to the job board when you made that change. It seems fine in IE.

  4. This Patently-O format is a jumbled mess — pls hit the “go back” button.

  5. PLEASE! – having the main body of text hard against the LHS of the screen is playing havoc with my inner ear and making me feel nauseous!

  6. So the two natural questions:
    1) Has Sprint (the underlying non-holding company) filed for DJ in, e.g., Kansas City?
    2) Why didn’t plaintiff simply amend its complaint to add the underlying company as a defendant under Rule 15? (or perhaps it did)

    EM

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