According to the Federal Circuit, twenty-two communications with a party over the course of three months may be enough to force a defendant to defend itself in the state where the party is located. But three letters sent over that same time period is not enough.
In a recently published opinion, Trimble, Inc. v. PerDiemCo LLC, the Federal Circuit reversed a district court’s dismissal of a declaratory judgment noninfringement action for lack of personal jurisdiction. PerDiemCo, a Texas LLC and the defendant in the action, had communicated with Trimble twenty-two times over the course of three months. The communications began with a demand letter from PerDiemCo’s sole owner to Trimble’s subsidiary seeking to have Trimble pay for a non-exclusive license to practice PerDiemCo’s allegedly infringed patents. The parties attempted to negotiate over the next three months via letters, emails, and telephone calls until Trimble filed a declaratory judgment noninfringement action in the Northern District of California, where Trimble is headquartered.