As a lawyer, I am used to reaching into my stocking on Christmas eve to find yet another lump of sumptuous coal. Hard and black as my own cynical heart, it is but fuel for engine of my enemies' destruction.
This year, however, I was presently surprised to return to the office after spending the entire holiday sick in bed to find a new opinion to discuss on the blog. Everyone wins today.
IBM Corp. v. Rakuten, Inc., C.A. No. 21-461 (D. Del. Dec. 22, 2022) presents an interesting issue of personal Jurisdiction I hadn't seen before. The plaintiff, IBM, sued Rakuten a Japanese corporation (and seller of cool Japanese goods) along with its U.S. subsidiary Ebates. After suit was filed, Rakuten transferred several patents in its portfolio to Ebates, who then asserted them against IBM as permissive counterclaims. All the while, Rakuten maintained that the Court lacked personal Jurisdiction (Ebates conceded jurisdiction).
Judge Williams, however, found the maneuver of shuffling the patents off to Ebates sufficient to confer ...