JACK HENRY & ASSOCIATES, INC. v. PLANO ENCRYPTION TECHNOLOGIES LLC

JACK HENRY & ASSOCIATES, INC. v. PLANO ENCRYPTION TECHNOLOGIES LLC, Appeal No. 2016-2700 (Fed. Cir. December 7, 2018).  Before Newman, Wallach and Stoll.  Appealed from N.D. Tex. (Judge Godbey).  (Personal Jurisdiction)

Background:

Plano is a non-practicing entity whose sole business is enforcement of its intellectual property.  Plano sent letters to eleven Texas banks identifying Plano’s patents and asserting that the banks’ software infringed the patents.  The letters also offered licenses and referenced a lawsuit already pending between Plano and another bank.  Jack Henry, who provides the software to the banks, was not directly contacted by Plano but became involved when the banks filed a declaratory action in the Northern District of Texas seeking a ruling of invalidity and non-infringement.

Plano moved for dismissal, asserting venue was improper due to Plano having its registered place of business in the Eastern District of Texas.  The district court granted Plano’s motion, finding that the letters threatening suit for patent infringement were not sufficient to create personal jurisdiction in the Northern District of Texas.

Issue/Holding:

Did the district court err in holding that Plano’s actions did not subject it to jurisdiction in the Northern District of Texas?  (continue reading)

Summary by:  Graham Nelson

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