Many nations, including China and the United States, are signatories to the Hague Service Convention on the Service Abroad of Judicial and Extrajudicial Documents in Civil and Commercial Matters, 20 U.S.T. 361 (Nov. 15, 1965) (“the Convention”). Pursuant to the Convention, each member state provides a “central authority” that is responsible for receiving and effecting service from abroad consistent with the member state’s domestic policies.
On September 10, 2021, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit denied mandamus in In re OnePlus Tech. (Shenzhen) Co. (“OnePlus Decision”),1 thereby refusing to dismiss five underlying patent infringement actions against a Chinese company for insufficient service of process and lack of personal jurisdiction—despite the fact that service of process was not even attempted through the Convention.
The OnePlus Decision, and the underlying filings in the district court, provide guidance regarding the factual and legal bases for arguably more efficient and expedited service of process on overseas defendants. Nonetheless, sidestepping the Convention may give rise to some hurdles later in the case. This article discusses the OnePlus case and identifies some remaining issues that attorneys should consider before deciding to dispense with the Convention procedures in lieu of alternative methods of service—namely the impact on the enforceability of a U.S. judgment abroad.