KM Enters. Inc. v. Global Traffic Techs., Inc., No. 12-3406 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
KME and GTT are competitors in the specialized market for devices that permit emergency vehicles to send a signal that preempts traffic lights and allows the vehicle to pass through an intersection with, rather than against, the light. One system relies on optical signals and one uses GPS signals. GTT’s optical products are called “Opticom.” In 2010, GTT filed a patent infringement suit against KME; KME filed a separate suit against GTT. In 2011, KME twice sued, challenging the New York Department of Transportation’s award of traffic‐preemption contracts to GTT vendors. In 2012 KME sued, alleging that GTT violated antitrust laws by improperly interfering with competitive bidding on public contracts and engaging in monopolistic activity similar to illegal tying, claiming that GTT improperly persuades agencies to specify Opticom technology when drafting public contract requirements and then falsely informs those agencies that Opticom is no longer available and offers to supply a “dual” unit with both optical and GPS technology. The district court dismissed for improper venue, reasoning that GTT did not reside in the district and that none of the events at issue took place there. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, after exploring the “surprisingly complex” relation between general principles of personal jurisdiction and venue and the Clayton Act’s special jurisdiction and venue provisions.