Monday, April 16, 2018

Case of the Day: Huawei Techs. Co. v. Samsung Elecs. Co., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 63052 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 13, 2018)


Plaintiff Huawei filed near-simultaneous actions in both China and the United States against defendant Samsung in May 2016, alleging violation of a licensing agreement on certain patent portfolio. The Chinese action progressed faster than the U.S. action, such that the court in China issued an injunction against Samsung. Samsung filed motion with the U.S. court to stop the enforcement of the injunction from the Chinese court.

The court issued an anti-suit injunction, finding that the issues were virtually identical and so were the parties. The court rejected the plaintiff's offer to bifurcate the issues so as to avoid the anti-suit injunction, as the court found the separation impractical.


Wow, wow, wow. In international litigation, this is about as big a blockbuster one can see: U.S. court's most closely guarded weapon (anti-suit injunction,) wielded against the world's second largest economy, in a field of business worth trillions. 

Wonder why Samsung was not inclined to file an anti-suit injunction earlier in the process. Strategically, it ended up being the right move to wait until the Chinese court produced a result that defeated the U.S. court action--but what a tough decision to litigate in two countries rather than come out firing with an anti-suit injunction application right away.

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