In a case of first impression for the Federal Circuit, the court addressed the issue of how to apply Federal Rule 4(k)(2) (the Federal Court's long-arm statute) to a defendant. The court, in agreement with several other circuits, that a Rule 4(k)(2) analysis is appropriate when (1) the plaintiff's claim arises under federal law, (2) the defendant is not amenable to jurisdiction in any individual state, and (3) the exercise of jurisdiction comports with due process.
Applying this test to the facts of the case, the court reversed the district court's dismissal of the case for lack of personal jurisdiction. The court held the fact that representatives of the defendant showed the accused products at a trade show in California was sufficient for specific personal jurisdiction. The court held attendance at the trade show was sufficient for the defendant to purposefully avail itself of the privilege of conducting activities in the United States, and that the infringement claim arose out of these contacts, even though the defendant's representatives took steps to ensure it was clear the allegedly infringing devices were not for sale in the United States.
The court left the most interesting questions for future cases, including whether bringing the allegedly infringing devices to the trade show constitutes an infringing act of importation under § 271, whether the plaintiff or the defendant has the burden to show the defendant is not subject to the jurisdiction of any state under the second step of the Rule 4(k)(2) analysis (and what sufficies as such a showing), and whether a district court must undertake a Rule 4(k)(1) analysis before a 4(k)(2) analysis.
More detail of Synthes (U.S.A.) v. G.M. Dos Reis Jr. Ind. Com. de Equip. Medico after the jump.