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Brief of Thirty-Four Law Professors as Amici Curiae in Support of Appellants in Altera Corp. v. Papst Licensing GMBH

28 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2015 Last revised: 2 Mar 2017

Debra Lyn Bassett

Southwestern Law School

Anya Bernstein

University at Buffalo Law School

Jeremy W. Bock

University of Memphis - Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law

Patrick Joseph Borchers

Creighton University School of Law

Michael J. Burstein

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Michael A. Carrier

Rutgers Law School

Bernard Chao

University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Colleen V. Chien

Santa Clara University - School of Law

Jorge L. Contreras

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law

Scott Dodson

University of California Hastings College of the Law

Joshua A. Douglas

University of Kentucky - College of Law

Catherine Ross Dunham

Elon University School of Law

Katherine Florey

University of California, Davis

Roger Allan Ford

University of New Hampshire School of Law

Leah Chan Grinvald

Suffolk University Law School

Paul R. Gugliuzza

Boston University School of Law

Timothy R. Holbrook

Emory University School of Law

William Hubbard

University of Baltimore - School of Law

Sapna Kumar

University of Houston Law Center

Megan M. La Belle

Catholic University of America (CUA) - Columbus School of Law

Mark A. Lemley

Stanford Law School

David I. Levine

University of California Hastings College of the Law

Joseph Scott Miller

University of Georgia School of Law

Patricia W. Hatamyar Moore

St. Thomas University School of Law

Ira Steven Nathenson

St. Thomas University School of Law

Xuan-Thao Nguyen

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Center for Intellectual Property & Innovation

Philip A. Pucillo

Michigan State University College of Law

Charles W. (Rocky) Rhodes IV

South Texas College of Law

Cassandra Burke Robertson

Case Western Reserve University School of Law

Christopher B. Seaman

Washington and Lee University School of Law

Gregory C. Sisk

University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)

Howard M. Wasserman

Florida International University (FIU) - College of Law

Buzz IV

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP

Matthew K. Telford

University of Pennsylvania Law School - Student/Alumni/Adjunct

Date Written: December 21, 2015

Abstract

Beginning with its 1998 decision in Red Wing Shoe Co. v. Hockerson-Halberstadt, Inc., 148 F.3d 1355, 1360 (Fed. Cir. 1998), the Federal Circuit has embraced a rigid, bright-line rule for the exercise of personal jurisdiction in patent declaratory judgment actions. Specifically, the Federal Circuit has held, based on “policy considerations unique to the patent context,” Avocent Huntsville Corp. v. Aten Int’l Co., 552 F.3d 1324, 1333 (Fed. Cir. 2008), that contacts created through unsuccessful attempts to license a patent can never be sufficient to create specific personal jurisdiction over a patent holder. In contrast to that rigid, patent-specific rule, the Supreme Court has repeatedly emphasized that the analysis of personal jurisdiction “is not susceptible of mechanical application,” Kulko v. Superior Court, 436 U.S. 84, 92 (1978), and has instead required a case-by-case inquiry into the defendant’s contacts with the forum state and considerations of “fair play and substantial justice,” Burger King Corp. v. Rudzewicz, 471 U.S. 462, 485-86 (1985) (internal quotations omitted). Applying the analysis mandated by Supreme Court precedent, it is clear that personal jurisdiction exists in declaratory judgment actions, such as this one, where the patent holder purposefully targeted the forum state by sending demand letters into the state and engaging in in-person meetings in the state with the specific purpose of licensing the patent-in-suit.

In addition, important public policy interests support allowing courts to exercise personal jurisdiction over patentees who engage in patent licensing activities targeted at the forum state. The Supreme Court and Congress have consistently emphasized a strong public policy in clearing invalid patents from the marketplace. The Declaratory Judgment Act furthers this policy by allowing accused infringers to obtain a decision on patent validity at a reasonable time and in a reasonable place. The rigid rule established by Red Wing Shoe, however, frustrates the goal of encouraging patent challenges by granting patent holders unilateral control over where a declaratory judgment suit may be filed.

For these reasons, the Federal Circuit should sua sponte consider this case en banc to overturn the restrictive jurisdictional rule established by Red Wing Shoe.

Keywords: patent, declaratory judgment, jurisdiction, personal jurisdiction, patent assertion entity, minimum contacts

Suggested Citation

Bassett, Debra Lyn and Bernstein, Anya and Bock, Jeremy W. and Borchers, Patrick Joseph and Burstein, Michael J. and Carrier, Michael A. and Chao, Bernard and Chien, Colleen V. and Contreras, Jorge L. and Dodson, Scott and Douglas, Joshua A. and Dunham, Catherine Ross and Florey, Katherine and Ford, Roger Allan and Grinvald, Leah Chan and Gugliuzza, Paul R. and Holbrook, Timothy R. and Hubbard, William and Kumar, Sapna and La Belle, Megan M. and Lemley, Mark A. and Levine, David I. and Miller, Joseph Scott and Moore, Patricia W. Hatamyar and Nathenson, Ira Steven and Nguyen, Xuan-Thao and Pucillo, Philip A. and Rhodes, Charles W. (Rocky) and Robertson, Cassandra Burke and Seaman, Christopher B. and Sisk, Gregory C. and Wasserman, Howard M. and Buzz and Telford, Matthew K., Brief of Thirty-Four Law Professors as Amici Curiae in Support of Appellants in Altera Corp. v. Papst Licensing GMBH (December 21, 2015). Southwestern Law School Research Paper No. 2015-25. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2707288 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2707288

Debra Lyn Bassett

Southwestern Law School ( email )

3050 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010
United States

Anya Bernstein

University at Buffalo Law School ( email )

School of Law
624 O'Brian Hall
Buffalo, NY 14260-1100
United States

Jeremy W. Bock

University of Memphis - Cecil C. Humphreys School of Law ( email )

One North Front Street
Memphis, TN 38103-2189
United States

Patrick Joseph Borchers

Creighton University School of Law ( email )

2500 California Plaza
Omaha, NE 68178
United States
402-280-3009 (Phone)
402-280-3161 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://culaw2.creighton.edu

Michael J. Burstein

Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law ( email )

55 Fifth Ave.
New York, NY 10003
United States

Michael A. Carrier

Rutgers Law School ( email )

217 North Fifth Street
Camden, NJ 08102-1203
United States
856-225-6380 (Phone)
856-225-6516 (Fax)

Bernard H. Chao

University of Denver Sturm College of Law ( email )

2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208
United States

Colleen V. Chien

Santa Clara University - School of Law ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States
408-554-4534 (Phone)
408-554-4426 (Fax)

Jorge L. Contreras (Contact Author)

University of Utah - S.J. Quinney College of Law ( email )

383 S. University Street
Salt Lake City, UT 84112-0730
United States

Scott Dodson

University of California Hastings College of the Law ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States
415-581-8959 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://https://www.uchastings.edu/faculty-administration/faculty/dodson/index.html

Joshua A. Douglas

University of Kentucky - College of Law ( email )

620 S. Limestone Street
Lexington, KY 40506-0048
United States

Catherine Ross Dunham

Elon University School of Law ( email )

201 N. Greene Street
Greensboro, NC 27401
United States

Katherine Florey

University of California, Davis ( email )

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
United States

Roger Allan Ford

University of New Hampshire School of Law ( email )

Two White Street
Concord, NH 03301
United States

Leah Chan Grinvald

Suffolk University Law School ( email )

120 Tremont Street
Boston, MA 02108-4977
United States

Paul R. Gugliuzza

Boston University School of Law ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

Timothy Richard Holbrook

Emory University School of Law ( email )

1301 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States
404-712-0353 (Phone)

William Hubbard

University of Baltimore - School of Law ( email )

1420 N. Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21218
United States

Sapna Kumar

University of Houston Law Center ( email )

4604 Calhoun Road
Houston, TX 77204-6060
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.sapnakumar.org

Megan Maureen La Belle

Catholic University of America (CUA) - Columbus School of Law ( email )

3600 John McCormack Rd., NE
Washington, DC 20064
United States

Mark A. Lemley

Stanford Law School ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

David I. Levine

University of California Hastings College of the Law ( email )

200 McAllister Street
San Francisco, CA 94102
United States
415-565-4677 (Phone)

Joseph Scott Miller

University of Georgia School of Law ( email )

225 Herty Drive
Athens, GA 30602
United States
706-542-5191 (Phone)
706-542-5556 (Fax)

Patricia W. Moore

St. Thomas University School of Law ( email )

16401 N.W. 37th Ave.
Miami, FL 33054
United States
305-623-2342 (Phone)
305-623-2390 (Fax)

Ira Steven Nathenson

St. Thomas University School of Law ( email )

16401 N.W. 37th Ave.
Miami, FL 33054
United States
(305) 474-2454 (Phone)
(305) 623-2390 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://nathenson.org

Xuan-Thao Nguyen

Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, Center for Intellectual Property & Innovation ( email )

530 West New York Street
Indianapolis, IN 46202
United States
317-274-8146 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://mckinneylaw.iu.edu/faculty-staff/profile.cfm?Id=582

Philip A. Pucillo

Michigan State University College of Law ( email )

648 N. Shaw Lane
East Lansing, MI 48824
United States
517.432.6956 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.law.msu.edu/faculty_staff/profile.php?prof=713

Charles W. (Rocky) Rhodes IV

South Texas College of Law ( email )

1303 San Jacinto Street
Houston, TX 77002
United States
713-646-2918 (Phone)

Cassandra Burke Robertson

Case Western Reserve University School of Law ( email )

11075 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106-7148
United States
216-368-3302 (Phone)

Christopher B. Seaman

Washington and Lee University School of Law ( email )

Lexington, VA 24450
United States
540-458-8520 (Phone)

Gregory C. Sisk

University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota) ( email )

MSL 400, 1000 La Salle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 55403-2005
United States
651-962-4892 (Phone)

Howard M. Wasserman

Florida International University (FIU) - College of Law ( email )

University Park, DB 2065
Miami, FL 33199
United States
305-348-7482 (Phone)

Harrison J. Frahn IV

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP ( email )

2550 Hanover Street
Palo Alto, CA 94304
United States

Matthew K. Telford

University of Pennsylvania Law School - Student/Alumni/Adjunct ( email )

2135 Walnut St
Apt 801
Philadelphia, PA 19103
United States
336-403-6421 (Phone)

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