When we last checked in on M-I Drilling Fluids UK Ltd. v. Dynamic Air Limitada, the court had granted in part M-I Drilling’s request for jurisdictional discovery. As it turns out, that discovery did not produce information sufficient to salvage M-I Drilling’s argument that the court should exercise jurisdiction over Brazilian company Dynamic Air Limitada. In March, Judge Montgomery dismissed the case.
M-I Drilling’s jurisdictional theory had been that its Brazilian opponent availed itself of U.S. law by installing pneumatic systems that allegedly infringe M-I Drillings’ patents on oil transport ships sailing under U.S. flags. Dynamic Air Limitada countered that it was under a contractual obligation with non-party Petróleo Brasileiro to set up the accused systems on whichever ships the Brazilian oil company directed, and therefore had no control over where its pneumatic systems would ultimately be installed and could not be said to have purposefully availed itself of U.S. law.
M-I Drilling was attempting to show, through jurisdictional discovery, that Dynamic Air Limitada did know, when it entered the Petróleo Brasileiro contract, that it would likely be installing the accused systems on U.S. vessels. The Court, however, disagreed. Judge Montgomery held that at most Dynamic Air Limitada could be found to have had knowledge “that there was a possibility [Petróleo Brasileiro] might require [it] to install equipment on a U.S.-flagged ship. Purposeful availment, however, requires more than a mere possibility.”
While (barring an appeal) this marks the end of the voyage for M-I Drilling’s U.S. action against Dynamic Air Limitada, the parties are in the midst of an ongoing patent lawsuit in Brazil concerning the same technologies.