Case of the Day: Freedom Watch v. OPEC

Today’s case of the day, Freedom Watch v. OPEC (D.C. Cir. 2016), is, most likely, the last installment in this long-running service of process dispute. I have covered the case several times before. Here once again is my description of the facts:

Freedom Watch, a right-wing organization that accuses the “Obama-Clinton regime” of “using the economic crisis as an excuse to turn our nation into a socialist Euro-style welfare state,” sued OPEC on antitrust theories. I am going to go out on a limb here and guess that its claims lacked merit. OPEC moved to dismiss for insufficient service of process. According to OPEC’s motion to dismiss, “Plaintiff’s counsel, Mr. Larry Klayman, personally handed an envelope containing a summons, the complaint and other documents, all in English, to an Austrian police officer (not an employee of OPEC) who was present at the reception desk in the lobby of OPEC’s headquarters in Vienna.” On the other hand, according to the return of service, filed after the motion to dismiss, Courtney Butcher of Beverly Hills, California served the summons at OPEC headquarters on Frederich Luger, “intake officer of OPEC,” who supposedly was designated by law to accept service of process on OPEC.

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Welcome to Globalit!

Readers, check out Eric Sherby’s new blog, Globalit. Eric’s an excellent Israeli lawyer, originally from New York, and I’ve had the pleasure to get to know him a little through our work together on an ABA newsletter. The name of the blog, Globalit, is a nice pun, though one that needs a little explanation in English. If you say the name “Global Lit,” it means, obviously, “Global Litigation,” but if you say, “Globaleet,“then it’s the Hebrew word for “globally.” I know there’s a rule that says a pun its no good if you have to explain it, but given that this is a bilingual pun, I think the rule does not apply, and anyway, as my own blog and Cartas Blogatorias attest, I like wordplay in the title of websites.
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Case of the Day: Andover Healthcare v. 3M

The case of the day is Andover Healthcare, Inc. v. 3M Co. (8th Cir. 2016). Andover and 3M were competitors in the market for latex-free bandages. In 2013, Andover sued 3M for patent infringement in Delaware and in Germany.

Andover’s European patent (EP 1 027 084 B1) claimed “a cohesive product comprising … an inherently crystalline elastomer and at least one tackifying agent in an amount effective to disrupt the crystalline structure of the elastomer and maintain the elastomer in a partial polycrystalline state.” In the German case, 3M’s expert opined that 3M’s elastomers “are not present in a crystalline … state,” and thus that 3Ms products could not infringe the patent. Andover did not believe the expert’s test results could be correct and asked 3M to provide samples of its materials to allow Andover to do its own tests for use in the German case. But 3M refused on the grounds that disclosure would compromise its trade secrets. 3M had previously disclosed the information for use in the Delaware case. But the Delaware court refused to modify the protective order to allow use of the information in the German case, and the German court had not yet ruled on Andover’s request for discovery. So Andover sought the information from 3M for use in Germany by way of § 1782. A magistrate judge denied its application, and the district court affirmed. Andover appealed.
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