Novartis Pharm. Corp. v. Zydus Noveltech Inc.

Personal jurisdiction does not exist when the only contact in the jurisdiction is plaintiff incorporation in the forum.

October 15, 2015

Robins Kaplan GENERICally Speaking: A Hatch-Waxman Litigation Bulletin

Case Name: Novartis Pharm. Corp. v. Zydus Noveltech Inc., Civ. No. 14-cv-1104-RGA, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 103708 (D. Del. Aug. 7, 2015) (Andrews, J.) 

Drug Product and Patent(s)-in-Suit: Exelon® (rivastigmine); U.S. Patents Nos. 6,316,023 ("the '023 patent") and 6,335,031 ("the '031 patent")

Nature of the Case and Issue(s) Presented: Zydus asserted that the district court lacked personal jurisdiction because Zydus was not incorporated in Delaware, did not have any operations in Delaware, and did not sell any products in Delaware.  Zydus did send its ANDA to Novartis, which is incorporated in Delaware. But Zydus did not send its ANDA to Novartis in Delaware, but instead to its New Jersey location.

Novartis argued that the court had specific jurisdiction over Zydus because Novartis was incorporated in Delaware, and the injury it would suffer from Zydus’s ANDA would occur in Delaware. Further, Novartis asserted that Zydus would likely sell products in Delaware.

The district court found that it did not have specific jurisdiction over Zydus.

Why Zydus Prevailed: The district court rejected Novartis’s argument that Zydus' mailing of its ANDA to Novartis in New Jersey conferred specific jurisdiction over Zydus in Delaware. While looking at other related cases, the court noted that while sending an ANDA to a company incorporated in Delaware was a fact to consider, there was no precedent that this fact alone was sufficient to find specific jurisdiction.

Further, the district court found that it would offend notions of fair play and substantial justice to find specific jurisdiction over a defendant based solely on the plaintiff’s state of incorporation. Zydus has no control over what state Novartis incorporates in, and finding jurisdiction over Zydus without considering the acts of Zydus in the forum would be improper.

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