The case of the Day is Regenicin, Inc. v. Lonza Walkersville, Inc., (N.D. Ga. 2014). Regenicin sued Lonza Walkersville for breach of contract, tortious interference, and other business torts. Regencin sought leave to effect service on one of the defendants, Lonza Group, Ltd., in Switzerland under the Hague Service Convention. You might say, “a plaintiff doesn’t need to seek leave to invoke the Convention,” and you would be right, but Regenicin’s motion was actually a bit more ambitious: Regenicin sought leave to serve the documents via the Convention, but without having to translate the exhibits, which were voluminous. Article 5 permits the central authority to require translations.
In the case of the day, AQ Asset Management LLC v. Levine (N.Y. Sup. Ct. 2014), a Swiss national who had sued US defendants in the New York state courts found that he could not avoid the reach of a New York subpoena in a related case brought by the same US parties. In 2008, Markus Schumacher, the Swiss national, sued the City of New York, Paul Ware Jr., William C. Clifford, Antiquorum USA, Inc., and Evan Zimmerman in the New York Supreme Court. Schumacher’s claims are not made clear in today’s decision: they “arose from an August 2007 incident that took place at the offices of Antiquorum USA, where Schumacher had served as the chief operating officer for plaintiff Antiquorum S.A.” Two of the defendants in the 2008 lawsuit, Antiquorum and Zimmerman then sued Michale Levine, Habsburg Holdings Ltd., and Osvaldo Patrizzi, also in New York. The second suit was related to the first, though the decision doesn’t explain exactly how.
The case of the day is Marker Völkl (International) GmbH v. Epic Sports International, Inc. (S.D.N.Y. 2013). Marker Völkl, a Swiss corporation, had a license agreement with Epic, a Nevada corporation, under which Epic distributed Marker Völkl’s tennis equipment. In a separate agreement, Capstone Business Credit, LLC, a New York company, guaranteed Epic’s performance of its financial obligations to Marker Völkl. Both agreements had an arbitration agreement providing for arbitration under the Swiss Rules of International Arbitration.
In 2011, Marker Völkl terminated the license agreement and demanded payment of unpaid royalties. Epic and Capstone refused to pay, and Marker Völkl initiated an arbitration in Switzerland. Epic counterclaimed in the arbitration and filed an action in the New York Supreme Court, alleging that after Marker Völkl terminated the agreement, it misappropriated Epic’s intellectual property by continuing to sell tennis racquets manufactured from molds created by Epic. Epic later withdrew its counterclaims in the arbitration.
The arbitrator found in favor of Marker Völkl and awarded € 300,000 in damages. The New York court dismissed Epic’s action for lack of personal jurisdiction and insufficient service of process. Marker Völkl then petitioned for confirmation of the award. Epic reasserted its counterclaims and sought to stay confirmation pending resolution of the counterclaims. The court confirmed the award. Epic had not shown any of the exceptions to confirmation permitted by Article V of the New York Convention. The counterclaims were not related to any of the NYC exceptions and were irrelevant.
The decision is straightforward and seems plainly correct. Easy case.