The opinion of the court was delivered by: Darrah, Judge.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff; Recycling Sciences International, a Delaware corporation
having its sole place of business in Chicago, Illinois, commenced an
action against several defendants, alleging patent infringement. Before
this Court are two defendants' Motions to Dismiss and/or Motions to
I. DEFENDANT WILLIAMS ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES, INC
Defendant, Williams Environmental Systems, Inc. (Williams), seeks
dismissal for lack of personal jurisdiction and lack of proper venue. In
the alternative, Williams seeks a transfer of the cause to the Northern
District of Georgia.
Williams is a corporation organized under the laws of Georgia with its
principal place of business in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Williams is an
environmental remediation contractor. Williams has no employees who
reside or have offices located within Illinois and has never performed
any remediation services in Illinois. Williams filed tax returns in the
State of Illinois for the years 1996 through 1999 that reflect no income
attributable to business activity within Illinois. Williams bid on
projects within Illinois in 1998 and 1999 based on requests received from
potential Illinois customers.*fn1 Williams' bids were never accepted. In
1994, Williams received $102,000 from an Illinois business that leased
some equipment from Williams.
Plaintiff alleges patent infringement; therefore, Federal Circuit law
is controlling with deference given to the state's highest court to
determine whether a defendant is amendable to process in the forum
state. LSI Indus. Inc. v. Hubbell Lighting, 232 F.3d 1369, 1371 (2000
Fed. Cir.) (LSI Indus.). The determination of whether a court may
properly exercise personal jurisdiction over an out-of-state defendant is
governed by a two-prong analysis: (1) a defendant must be amendable to
process in the forum state, and (2) the court's exercise of personal
jurisdiction over the defendant must comply with federal due process
requirements. LSI Indus., 232 F.3d at 1371.
Plaintiff has the burden of establishing a prima facie case of personal
jurisdiction. When the court rules on a motion to dismiss based on lack
of personal jurisdiction without an evidentiary hearing, the court must
consider the pleadings and affidavits in a light most favorable to the
plaintiff. See Michael J. Neuman & Assoc. v. Florabelle Flowers, Inc.,
15 F.3d 721, 724 (7th Cir. 1994); In re Cardizem, 105 F. Supp.2d 618, 671
(E.D. Mich. 2000).
A. Amenability to Service
A defendant is amenable to service of process if it "could be subjected
to the jurisdiction of a court of general jurisdiction in the state in
which the district is located." Fed. R. Civ. P. 4(k)(1)(A). The instant
case is brought in the Northern District Federal Court; therefore,
defendants' amenability to service is governed by the Illinois long-arm
statute, 735 ILCS 5/2-209(a).
In the instant case, Williams had leased equipment to an Illinois
company in 1994 and received $102,000 from such lease. In addition,
Williams has and continues to bid on projects within Illinois. Williams'
conduct has been continual for at least a few years and demonstrates that
Williams was "doing business" in Illinois.
The limits of due process on the extraterritorial reach of a state are
determined by accessing whether the defendant had established "minimum
contacts" with the forum state "such that [it] should reasonably
anticipate being haled into court there." World-Wide Volkswagen Corp. v.
Woodson, 444 U.S. 286, 297 (1980). If minimum contacts with the forum
state are established, those contacts are considered in light of other
factors to determine whether the assertion of personal jurisdiction would
comport with "fair play and substantial justice." International Shoe Co.
v. Washington, 326 U.S. 310, 320 (1945).
A defendant may be subject to either specific or general jurisdiction
under the "minimum contacts" test. LSI Indus., 232 F.3d at 1375. Specific
jurisdiction exists if: (1) the defendant purposefully directed its
activities at residents of the forum state; (2) the claim arises out of
or is related to those activities; and (3) the assertion of personal
jurisdiction is ...