On October 8, 2020, John Carlin was quoted in Bloomberg Law on the use of anti-suit injunctions in patent fights. According to the article, anti-suit injunctions prohibit litigants from starting or in some cases continuing a parallel lawsuit in another court. They are increasingly being deployed by companies embroiled in global patent battles over standardized wireless technology. Their use is expected to continue with the transition to 5G and the emerging Internet of Things.
Such orders create opportunities for strategic maneuvering by lawyers, including seeking preemptive orders to block the injunctions. There can also be a sense of urgency for companies to be the first to file a lawsuit and better position themselves in a legal fight. “I can see more legal wrangling over those types of procedural remedies going forward,” Carlin said.
Lawsuits in licensing disputes are often brought by the patent owner, but companies that implement the technology could be motivated to strike first. This allows them to choose the forum and could help avoid a mirror lawsuit in another country.
The court where the first lawsuit was brought may “be a little more protective and more willing to enter an anti-suit injunction against a subsequently filed foreign action that is going to potentially frustrate the purpose of the original action,” Carlin said.
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