Thursday, May 17, 2007

Parallel Patent Litigation and the S.D.N.Y.

Earlier this month, the Southern District of New York refused to abstain from its involvement in a patent dispute that has stretched nearly half a decade and half the globe. The original plaintiff sued in  New York.  About two years later that plaintiff filed a related suit in Israel regarding the same invention.   More recently, one of the defendants filed a declaratory-judgment action in Israel, consolidated the Israeli cases, and asked the federal court to stay its hand.   In balancing its "heavy obligation to exercise jurisdiction" with the need for "wise judicial administration," the court considered three factors:  international comity, judicial efficiency, and fairness.  Although several factors favored abstention, the court concluded that the disparity in issues among the pending suits as well as the first-filed ruled weighed too heavily against granting the stay.  Aerotel v. IDT, 20067 WL 1334547 (S.D.N.Y. May 4, 2007). --RR

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