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Graphics Properties Holdings, Inc. v. Asus Computer International

United States District Court, D. Delaware

September 29, 2014

GRAPHICS PROPERTIES HOLDINGS, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
ASUS COMPUTER INTERNATIONAL, ASUS TECHNOLOGY PTE LTD., and ASUSTEK COMPUTER INC., Defendants

Page 655

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 656

For Plaintiff: Brian E. Farnan, Rosemary J. Piergiovanni, FARNAN LLP, Wilmington, DE; Adam S. Rizk, Andrew H. DeVoogd, Daniel Weinger, Jack C. Schecter, MINTZ, LEVIN, COHN, FERRIS, GLOVSKY AND POPEO, P.C., Boston, MA.

For Defendants: John G. Day, Andrew C. Mayo, ASHBY & GEDDES, Wilmington, DE; John P. Schnurer, Kevin J. Patariu, Tawen Chang, PERKINS COIE, San Diego, CA.

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MEMORANDUM OPINION

STARK, United States District Judge.

Pending before the Court is Defendants ASUS Technology Pte Ltd. (" ASUS Singapore" ) and ASUSTek Computer Inc.'s (" ASUS Taiwan," collectively the " Foreign Defendants" ) motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and improper venue. (D.I. 25) For the reasons discussed below, the Court will deny the Foreign Defendants' motion.

PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

I. The 2012 Action (C.A. No. 12-210-LPS)

Plaintiff Graphics Properties Holdings, Inc. (" GPH" ) filed an action against ASUS Computer International (" ASUS California" ), ASUS Singapore, and ASUS Taiwan on February 1, 2012. (C.A. No. 12-210 D.I. 1) GPH filed an Amended Complaint on March 27, 2012. ( Id. at D.I. 8) In its Amended Complaint, GPH asserted U.S. Patent Nos. 5,896,119 (the " '119 patent" ), 6,816,145 (the " '145 patent" ), and 8,144,158 (the " '158 patent" ) against all three defendants. The defendants collectively moved to dismiss the action for lack of jurisdiction or, in the alternative, to transfer. ( Id. at D.I. 11)

On October 11, 2012, the Court heard oral argument on the motion and denied

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the motion as to ASUS California with respect to Plaintiff's allegations of infringement of the '145 and '158 patents. ( Id. at D.I. 30) In all other respects, the motion remained pending. ( Id.) The Court ordered that the parties propose a schedule for jurisdictional discovery and supplemental briefing as to all three defendants. ( Id.) Before the parties filed the proposed jurisdictional discovery schedule, they reached agreement for GPH to dismiss the Foreign Defendants and to pursue jurisdictional discovery only against ASUS California. ( Id. at D.I. 31, 31-1) Jurisdictional discovery moved forward as to ASUS California, and the parties completed supplemental briefing. On November 19, 2013, the parties entered into an agreement whereby ASUS California withdrew its motion to transfer and GPH dismissed certain claims. ( Id. at D.I. 171) The parties' actions mooted the Court's prior opinion.

II. The 2013 Action (C.A. No. 13-864-LPS)

On May 17, 2013, GPH filed a second action against ASUS California, ASUS Taiwan and ASUS Singapore. (D.I. 1) GPH amended this complaint on July 19, 2013. (D.I. 7) In this Amended Complaint, GPH asserted that ASUS tablets, including the Nexus 7, infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 6,650,327 (the " '327 patent" ) and 5,717,881 (the " '881 patent" ). The Foreign Defendants filed their motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction on December 31, 2013. (D.I. 25)

FACTUAL BACKGROUND

ASUS Taiwan is a Taiwanese corporation with its principal place of business in Taiwan. (C.A. 12-210 D.I. 14 at ¶ 2) The accused products are designed and manufactured in Taiwan or China. ( Id. at ¶ 8) ASUS Taiwan does not directly sell the accused products in Delaware. ( Id. at ¶ 9) Instead, it sells title to the products to ASUS Singapore in Taiwan or China. ( Id. at ¶ 10)

ASUS Singapore is a Singaporean corporation that is 100% owned by ASUS Taiwan and has its principal place of business in Singapore. ( See D.I. 29 Ex. 4 at 101; C.A. No. 12-210 D.I. 15 at ¶ 2) ASUS Singapore does not directly sell the accused products in Delaware either. (C.A. No. 12-210 D.I. 15 at ¶ 9) Instead, the accused products sold in the United States are first sold by ASUS Singapore to ASUS California. ( Id. at D.I. 16 at ¶ 9)

ASUS California is 100% owned by ASUS Taiwan. ( See D.I. 29 Ex. 4 at 100) ASUS California generally receives products from ASUS Singapore at ports or airports in California. (C.A. No. 12-210 at ¶ 10) ASUS California then sells the products to resellers throughout the United States, including Delaware. ( See, e.g., D.I. 29 ¶ 6) ASUS California does not contest jurisdiction in Delaware.

LEGAL STANDARDS

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2), a party may move to dismiss a case based on the court's lack of personal jurisdiction over that party. Determining the existence of personal jurisdiction requires a two-part analysis -- one statutory and one constitutional.[1] First, the court analyzes the long-arm statute of the ...


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