Trading Techs. Int’l., Inc. v. GL Consultants, No. 05 C 4120, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. May 17, 2007) (Gottschall, J.).*
Judge Gottschall denied defendant GL Trade SA’s ("GL SA") motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction, with leave to refile after completion of jurisdictional discovery. GL SA is a French company located in Paris. GL SA does not have an office or any assets in Illinois, but it does have a subsidiary, defendant GL Americas, Inc. ("GL Americas"). GL Americas maintains a regional office in Chicago. The Court noted that despite three rounds of briefing on jurisdiction, neither party "provided anything of substance to the court." Plaintiff Trading Technologies ("TT") treated GL SA’s subsidiary GL Americas as GL SA, and had not submitted evidence of GL SA’s specific contacts with Illinois. GL SA submitted several declarations, but none sufficiently clarified that GL SA did not have minimum contacts with Illinois. As a result, the Court held that it lacked sufficient evidence to rule upon the motion, and granted TT’s motion for jurisdictional discovery.
After ruling on the motions, the Court offered its jurisdictional analysis as a "framework" for the issues the parties should address through the discovery process. First, the Court pointed out that neither party had detailed GL SA’s specific contacts with Illinois. Neither party identified which software products were GL SA products and which were GL Americas products. Furthermore, neither party identified any sales of GL SA or GL Americas products to Illinois consumers. The Court noted that if none of the GL SA products at issue were sold in Illinois, the Court would not have specific jurisdiction over GL SA. And if there were sales to Illinois consumers, discovery was still required to show whether GL SA had a purpose and intent to serve the Illinois market. Finally, the Court noted that TT must make its case for the Court’s jurisdiction over GL SA based upon GL SA’s actions, without imputing GL America’s actions or contacts to GL SA.
*More analysis of opinions from this case and the various related TT cases, can be found in the Blog’s archives.