It is a “well-established rule that suits against alien defendants are outside the operation of the federal venue laws.” Judge Gilliam stopped a declaratory judgment plaintiff’s attempt to initiate a parallel lawsuit in California when only the plaintiff’s foreign parent was sued in Texas.
AU Optronics Corporation (“AUO”) was formed in 2001 in Taiwan when Acer Display Technology, Inc. merged with Unipac Optoelectronics Corporation. In 2002, AUO was listed at the New York Stock Exchange, becoming the first manufacturer of pure TFT-LCDs to do so.
Plaintiff AU Optronics Corporation America (“AUO USA”) has a principal place of business in California. Before AUO USA filed its declaratory judgment action in the Northern District of California, Defendant Vista Peak Ventures, LLC (“Vista Peak”) had filed three lawsuits against AUO USA’s foreign parent corporation in the Eastern District of Texas alleging patent infringement. None of the Texas lawsuits named AUO USA as a defendant.