What are the possible sanctions from US court if a EU company decides that continuing software patent litigation is useless but is not willing to make a deal with accusing party. In other words ignores the litigation or the court ruling if ruling is in favor of accusing party. Are there any precedents like that?

Without getting into details the patent litigation in US is so frustrating. Defending party lawyers failing to adequately represent defending party, accusing party lawyers are putting forward plain stupid/inadequate arguments... Seeking justice becomes too painful mentally and money-wise.


1 Answer 1


Although I'm not a lawyer, I have tried to research this in relation to the UK. Other European countries may be different. I'd be interested if anyone knows if any of the following is incorrect.

If a default judgement is issued by a US court it is not directly enforceable in the UK. The judgement may be a monetary award and/or an injunction preventing further sale of the infringing product in the US.

For the UK court to recognise that the US court has jurisdiction over the defendant one of the following must be satisfied

  • The defendant has voluntarily entered into US court proceedings

  • The defendant was present or had a place of business in the US at the start of proceedings

  • The defendant has submitted to the jurisdiction of the US court in a contract

The UK cases Cape vs Adams [1990] and Lucas Film vs Ainsworth [2011] are the best examples of this being tested. In both cases the court ruled that the US did not have jurisdiction over the defendant as he / it was not present in the US as the start of court proceedings. In Lucas Film vs Ainsworth it was established that selling to US customers is not a 'presence in the US'.

So, for the UK at least, if none of the above conditions are met, a US judgement cannot be enforced.

Whether the plaintiff would then start sending cease and desist letters to your web hosts and payment providers is another matter.

The question discussed 'continuing patent litigation' which implies that US proceedings have already been entered into.

It seems to me that UK companies with no presence in the US should think very carefully whether it's worth entering into US proceedings.

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