Halo is a Hong Kong private company that owns certain U.S. design patents and copyrights on its furniture designs. Comptoir is a Canadian company that manufactures furniture outside the U.S. that it imports into the U.S. Halo sued Comptoir in the N.D. of Illinois for infringement of its U.S. design patents and copyrights. Comptoir moved for dismissal on forum non conveniens grounds, arguing that Canada is a superior forum to resolve the dispute. The district court agreed and it dismissed.
On appeal, the Federal Circuit reversed, holding that jurisdiction in Canada would not best serve the ends of justice. Comptoir presented no evidence that a Canadian court would be an adequate alternative forum that could provide Halo with an adequate remedy. Halo’s complaint sought redress for alleged infringement of U.S. intellectual property rights that occurred in the U.S. There is nothing to suggest that, like the U.S., the Canadian courts would adjudicate an intellectual property dispute where the alleged infringement occurred in another country.
Halo Creative & Design Limited v. Comptoir Des Indes Inc., Case No. 2015-1375 (March 14, 2016); Opinion by: Dyk, joined by Mayer and Hughes; Appealed From: United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Leinenweber, J. Read the full opinion here.