Xilinx, Inc. v. Papst Licensing GMBH & Co. KG, No. 15-1919 (Fed. Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Xilinx a Delaware corporation headquartered in California, develops and markets programmable logic devices for electronics systems. Papst, organized and having its principal place of business in Germany, is a nonpracticing entity that does not manufacture or sell products. Papst’s website describes “a global patent licensing and monetization firm specialized in enforcing infringed patents with the goal to conclude a license agreement with the infringer.” Papst has repeatedly filed patent infringement suits in California federal courts. Before acquiring the patents-in-suit, Papst investigated potential infringers and targets for licensing, including 28 companies based, or having significant presence, in California. Papst sent a patent-infringement notice letter and a follow-up letter to Xilinx. Papst’s managing director, its senior counsel, and its Texas-based outside counsel, traveled to California to meet with Xilinx. No agreement was reached. Xilinx sought a declaratory judgment, in the Northern District of California, that Xilinx’s products do not infringe the patents-in-suit and that the patents are invalid. Papst filed an infringement suit against Xilinx in the District of Delaware asserting the same patents. The California court dismissed the declaratory judgment action for lack of personal jurisdiction. The Federal Circuit reversed; the court has specific personal jurisdiction over Papst. Considering the totality of circumstances, the court found “sufficient minimum contacts” and that the exercise of jurisdiction would not be unreasonable.