Wiggin and Dana Wins Second Circuit Appeal for Aerospace Company

January 24, 2014
New Haven - Wiggin and Dana successfully represented Astronics Corporation, an American aerospace and defense manufacturer, in an appeal brought by German aerospace company Lufthansa Technik AG.

Lufthansa filed a patent infringement action in Germany against an Astronics subsidiary, then came to the United States and filed federal cases in Seattle and Buffalo, using a little-known federal statute (28 U.S.C. § 1782) to seek discovery against the subsidiary and the parent for use in the German case. After the Buffalo district court dismissed the case filed against the parent, viewing it as duplicative of the Seattle case filed against the subsidiary, Lufthansa appealed, claiming that the statute requires district courts to consider overlapping § 1782 petitions. Astronics argued that the statute does not displace district courts' inherent power to dismiss duplicative litigation, and the Second Circuit agreed, issuing a summary order validating Astronics' position in all respects.

This decision marks the first time that a federal Court of Appeals has considered the question whether 28 U.S.C. § 1782, an increasingly important part of transnational commercial litigation, displaces district courts' inherent power to dismiss duplicative litigation. Jonathan M. Freiman, Chair of Wiggin and Dana's Appellate and Complex Legal Issues Practice Group, represented Astronics with associate Benjamin Daniels.