Judge Robinson Accepts in Part and Rejects in Part the Magistrate Judge’s Opinion on Motions to Dismiss

July 12, 2016

Publication| Intellectual Property

In Pfizer Inc. v. Mylan Inc., C.A. No. 15-26-SLR/SRF (D. Del. June 15, 2016), Judge Robinson mostly accepted Magistrate Judge Fallon’s Report and Recommendation on the defendants’ motion to dismiss, denying the motion as to the Mylan defendants (with leave to renew after jurisdictional discovery) and denying the motion as to defendant Agila with prejudice. The defendants had moved to dismiss the ANDA action against them for lack of personal jurisdiction and failure to state a claim. Although noting that “jurisdictional analysis in ANDA cases presents unique challenges,” Magistrate Judge Fallon found, and Judge Robinson agreed, that the court had specific jurisdiction over Agila because it “filed the ANDA and plans to market and sell its generic product throughout the United States, including in Delaware.” As to the Mylan defendants, Magistrate Judge Fallon found that the complaint did not contain enough factual support to find jurisdiction over either as purported agents to Agila. However, Magistrate Judge Fallon found that jurisdictional discovery should be permitted. Judge Robinson agreed. Further, Judge Robinson agreed with Magistrate Judge Fallon that the complaint contained sufficient factual allegations to state a claim for relief.

Judge Robinson did, however, reject one portion of Magistrate Judge Fallon’s Report and Recommendation—the consent to jurisdiction analysis. Magistrate Judge Fallon addressed whether the Mylan defendants had consented to jurisdiction in Delaware under the then-current framework and found that, by registering to do business in Delaware, one of the Mylan defendants had consented to personal jurisdiction in Delaware. However, as acknowledged by Judge Robinson, the Delaware Supreme Court issued an opinion after the Report and Recommendation was authored that reversed the court’s position on consent to general jurisdiction. See Genuine Parts Co. v. Cepec, 2016 WL 1569077 (Del. Apr. 18, 2016). Under the new framework, Magistrate Judge Fallon’s analysis of consent to jurisdiction was incorrect; therefore, Judge Robinson rejected that portion of Magistrate Judge Fallon’s findings.

Analysis: Judge Robinson’s decision shows the deference and respect afforded to magistrate judges by the district court judges when reviewing reports and recommendations. Magistrate judges continue to be entrusted with early dispositive motions, and their findings are rarely overturned.

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