Am. Type Culture Collection, Inc. v. Coleman

In Am. Type Culture Collection, Inc. v. Coleman, 83 S.W.3d 801, 808, 45 Tex. Sup. Ct. J. 1008 (Tex. 2002), a nonresident defendant advertised in national and international journals, sold products to Texas residents for at least eighteen years, served as a repository for Texas researchers, contracted with a Texas medical center, and signed a repository contract in Maryland. Id. at 807. The nonresident defendant in Coleman performed all the services related to the contract in Maryland and sent the goods F.O.B. Maryland. Id. at 807-08. The corporation also purchased over $ 350,000 in supplies from thirty-three Texas vendors, and the corporation's representatives attended five conferences in Texas. Id. at 808. Thus, the company unquestionably had contacts with Texas, but the supreme court nonetheless held that no pattern of continuing systematic activity existed by the company in Texas. Id. at 809. Interestingly, the supreme court expressly noted that the fact that title to the goods passed to purchasers outside Texas weighs against a finding that Texas acquired jurisdiction. Id. In sum, the plaintiff sought jurisdiction over a nonresident defendant who had sold material, equipment and technology to Iraq that was used to create biological and chemical weapons. The focus was on establishing general personal jurisdiction, based upon numerous and voluminous sales of other products to Texas residents. Noting that activities inside or outside of Texas must justify a conclusion that the defendant could reasonably anticipate being called into a Texas court, Coleman, 83 S.W.3d at 806, the court found that when a nonresident defendant purposefully structures transactions so as to avoid the benefits and protections of a forum's laws, the legal fiction of consent no longer applies. Id. at 808. Title passing outside of Texas is a factor that weighs against a finding that Texas has acquired jurisdiction. Id.