In Polar Electro Oy v. Suunto Oy, Appeal No. 2015-1930, the Federal Circuit held that Suunto’s activities satisfied the minimum contacts requirements for personal jurisdiction in Delaware because Suunto shipped products to Delaware fully expecting they would be sold in Delaware.
Suunto is a Finnish company that manufactures heart-rate monitors. Suunto’s sister company, ASWO, distributes Suunto’s products in the United States pursuant to a distribution agreement. Under the agreement, Suunto is obligated to ship its products to the addresses in the United States specified by ASWO.
Polar asserted a stream-of-commerce theory of personal jurisdiction based on Suunto’s shipment of products to customers in Delaware. Suunto shipped at least ninety-four accused products to Delaware retailers via its distribution agreement with ASWO. Thus, the Federal Circuit found that Suunto, through its own conduct, had purposely availed itself of the Delaware market.
The Federal Circuit agreed with the district court that the “dual jurisdiction theory” under Delaware’s long arm statute authorized jurisdiction. The Federal Circuit relied on its earlier precedent to uphold the district court’s ruling that Polar had shown both (1) intent or purpose to serve the Delaware market and (2) that the intent or purpose resulted in the introduction of a product to Delaware from which Polar’s case arose. The Federal Circuit followed Delaware state court precedent to determine that a dual jurisdiction theory under the Delaware long arm statute does not require an assertion of general jurisdiction.