News 31 Jul. 2023

Curtis Reviews SCOTUS Decisions Affecting International Business

Decisions from the U.S. Supreme Court can impact international business and world affairs. Curtis’ appellate lawyers monitor these developments and how they affect U.S. and foreign companies with inbound and outbound international business. Some key takeaways from this term include:

U.S. trademark owners may not rely on the Lanham Act where infringement takes place wholly outside the United States. The Court continues to restrict the extraterritorial application of federal statutes, ruling that U.S. trademark owners may not rely on the Lanham Act to protect their marks from infringing uses outside the United States unless the infringing products are sold in the U.S. market or perhaps find their way here by other means.

For now, foreign companies may be required to consent to the general jurisdiction of state courts as a condition for registering to do business in the state. While this requirement does not present a due process violation, the Court left open whether it may be unconstitutional under the dormant Commerce Clause doctrine.

Social media companies may not be liable for allegedly aiding and abetting terrorist attacks abroad. The Court held that Twitter, Facebook and Google were not liable for international terrorist attacks simply by failing to prevent terrorists from using their social media platforms.

Greater risk of criminal liability for foreign governments. The Court ruled that the U.S. statute conferring sovereign immunity on foreign governments and their instrumentalities does not apply in criminal cases, but common-law immunity may still apply.

Non-U.S. residents may be able to seek triple damages for racketeering conduct that causes injury to intangible property in the United States, such as frustrating the collection of a U.S. judgment enforcing a foreign arbitral award.

Contracting parties will not be forced to litigate claims while seeking enforcement of an arbitration agreement. The Court ruled that district courts cannot proceed with a litigation until the court of appeals has resolved whether the case belongs in arbitration. This arbitration-friendly decision applies to international arbitrations seated in the United States as well.

We hope you find this report informative and look forward to advising you as you shape your global business strategy or confront international disputes. Read our full report here.

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