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Document Type

Note

Publication Date

Summer 2016

Publication Citation

23 Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies 839 (2016)

Abstract

The invention of chemically embossed cushioned vinyl flooring revolutionized the flooring industry in the mid-1900s, and the patents on this technology became the basis for large-scale litigation between two of the industry's leaders. This is the story of Mannington Mills, Inc. v. Congoleum Corp.-a case that implicated foreign patent rights and the territorial nature of patent law, the extraterritorial scope of U.S. antitrust law (at a time when this scope was changing and uncertain), competing doctrines of jurisdiction and abstention, and emerging international comity concerns. These legal issues combined to create a perfect storm of extraterritoriality by presenting unique, complex questions about how they should interact and fit together in a global context. This Note explores the historical and legal circumstances that led to the case and argues that the Third Circuit erred by not applying the act of state doctrine to the grant of a foreign patent and by instead formulating a new comity abstention doctrine.

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