an agreement with Paolino to use the device. Once Paolino disclosed the device's particulars, however, Air Control breached the agreement and manufactured the device without giving Paolino the agreed percentage of profits. Paolino brought suit in Pennsylvania and Air Control challenged the court's exercise of personal jurisdiction.
The Third Circuit held that jurisdiction over Air Control existed because Air Control, knowing that Paolino, a Pennsylvania resident, had an interest in a trade secret protected by Pennsylvania, obtained his property in confidence, and then set out on a course of action that would destroy it. The court reasoned that because Pennsylvania law created the property interest, Pennsylvania had an interest in protecting its resident from the property's willful destruction. When Air Control induced plaintiff to entrust to it that creature of Pennsylvania law on a promise of confidentiality and then misappropriated it, Air Control obviously knew its actions would cause harm in Pennsylvania no matter where the misappropriation occurred. Moreover, because Air Control's tortious conduct was not only directed at a Pennsylvania resident (thus foreseeably causing harm in Pennsylvania), but also involved negotiating and breaching a contract for use of property protected as a Pennsylvania trade secret, Pennsylvania was a foreseeable forum for litigation arising out of the incident.
Unlike Air Control, Trimedyne has not directed any activity at Pennsylvania:
no negotiation, no bid, no bargain, no benefit, no breach, no betrayal. Its alleged interference with SLT's contract took place in India, half a world away. Its alleged receipt of SLT's trade secrets similarly took place outside Pennsylvania.
While Trimedyne could have reasonably foreseen that either or both of these activities would cause harm to SLT in Pennsylvania, this knowledge, standing alone, does not establish the minimum contacts required for a Pennsylvania court to exercise jurisdiction. Foreseeability of harm within the forum state must be accompanied by conduct directed at the forum state in order for the defendant to reasonably anticipate being haled into the state's courts. There is a critical difference between an act which has an effect in the forum and one directed at the forum itself.
The bottom line is that any injury that manifested itself within Pennsylvania because of Trimedyne's tortious conduct outside Pennsylvania, although foreseeable, was fortuitous, not purposeful.
Standing alone, the allegation that tortious conduct outside Pennsylvania foreseeably caused harm inside Pennsylvania is simply not enough to alert a reasonable person that he might be haled into a Pennsylvania court. See Narco Avionics, Inc. v. Sportsman's Market, Inc., 792 F. Supp. 398, 407 (E.D. Pa. 1992) (Waldman, J.). Trimedyne, therefore, does not have the requisite minimum contacts with this Commonwealth on which to predicate jurisdiction.
I find under these circumstances that the exercise of jurisdiction over Trimedyne would be inconsistent with the Due Process clause. I will therefore grant Trimedyne's motion to dismiss. An appropriate order follows.
AND NOW, this 4th day of April, 1996, defendant Trimedyne's motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) is hereby granted.
BY THE COURT: