Vermont v. MPHJ Technology Investments, No. 14-1481 (Fed. Cir. 2014)Annotate this Case
MPHJ Technology Investments, LLC (MPHJ) owned several patents relating to network scanner systems. Through subsidiary licensees, MPHJ wrote to various business and non-profit organizations operating in Vermont, requesting the recipient to confirm it was not infringing MPHJ’s patents or, alternatively, to purchase a license. If there was no response, a Texas law firm sent follow-up correspondence stating that an infringement suit would be filed. The State of Vermont filed suit against MPHJ in Vermont state court alleging MPHJ engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices under the Vermont Consumer Protection Act, stating that the letters contained threatening, false, and misleading statements. MPHJ removed the case to the United States District Court for the District of Vermont, asserting federal question jurisdiction and diversity jurisdiction. The State moved to remand the case back to state court for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. MPHJ opposed the State’s motion to remand, and filed a motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction and a motion for sanctions. Finding that it lacked jurisdiction to grant MPHJ its requested relief, the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals dismissed the petition and appeal.