Last week, in AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical LP v. Intellipharmaceutics Corp., Civil Action No. 11-2973 (JAP), Judge Pisano of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey dismissed a Hatch-Waxman Act patent infringement action based on a lack of personal jurisdiction because the ANDA filer did not have the requisite minimum contacts with the state to establish either general or specific jurisdiction. In this particular case, AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical LP and AstraZeneca UK Limited (together, "Astra") had filed suit against Intellipharmaceutics Corp. ("IPC") and Intellipharmaceutics International Inc. ("IPCI") in New Jersey because IPC had filed an ANDA to seek approval to market a generic version of Astra's Seroquel XR product. Both IPC and IPCI are Canadian companies. IPC and IPCI subsequently filed their motion to dismiss pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(2) (lack of personal jurisdiction), or in the alternative, pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1406(a) to transfer to the Southern District of New York. Astra followed-up by also filing suit in New York to preserve its right to the statutory 30-month stay, but that action was stayed pending the outcome in the New Jersey Court.
For those readers who have not had the pleasure of a first-year Civil Procedure course, due process requires that a defendant have minimum contacts with a state before that state can exercise jurisdiction over them. This is because "traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice" prevent a plaintiff from hauling a defendant to court in a state in which that defendant does not have at least minimum contacts. There are two types of jurisdiction -- (1) general jurisdiction, in which the defendant has "continuous and systematic" contacts with a state such that a court can exercise jurisdiction for any action, and (2) specific jurisdiction, for cases in which general jurisdiction cannot be established, but there are sufficient limited contacts with the state that relate to the claims of the suit.
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