Not a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.

Austar Int'l, Ltd. v. Austarpharma LLC

United States District Court for the District of New Jersey

November 27, 2019, Decided; November 27, 2019, Filed

Civ. No. 19-8356 (KM) (MAH)

Opinion

 [*343]  KEVIN MCNULTY, U.S.D.J.:

The complaint of plaintiff Austar International Limited ("Austar International") asserts direct and derivative claims against AustarPharma LLC ("AustarPharma"), Rong Liu, and Guangzhou Bristol Drug Delivery Co., LTD. (now known as Bostal Drug Delivery Co., Ltd. ("Bostal"). AustarPharma moves to dismiss the complaint for failure to satisfy the threshold demand requirements of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 23.1. (DE 16). Dr. Liu and Bostal move to dismiss the complaint for failure  [*344]  to state a claim under Rule 12(b)(6). (DE 17). Bostal separately moves to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction under Rule 12(b)(2). (Id.). Recently, defendants also [**2]  filed letter briefs seeking to dismiss or stay this action in favor of a newly filed similar action in China. (DE 59, 61).

For the reasons stated herein, the motion of Dr. Liu and Bostal to dismiss (DE 17) is granted with respect to plaintiff's conversion claim (Count 3). Defendants' motions to dismiss (DE 16, 17) are in all other respects denied. Defendants' letter motions for a stay or dismissal based on international comity (DE 59, 61) are also denied without prejudice to renewal in light of later developments.

I. Summary1

This action arises from a 15-year business relationship between plaintiff Austar International and defendant Dr. Rong Liu that has now soured.

a. Formation of AustarPharma

In 2004, Austar International and Dr. Liu created AustarPharma, a joint venture "pharmaceutical drug technology company" which is "focused on the research, development, manufacture, and commercialization of finished generic drug products and drug-delivery technology products, as well as providing research and development services to pharmaceutical companies worldwide." (Compl. ¶¶ 1, 17).

The parties formalized [**3]  their relationship in a July 14, 2004 joint venture agreement. (DE 1-1). Among the purposes of the joint venture was "the establishment and management of the business of pharmaceutical research and development, manufacturing and distribution of finished drug products worldwide through a joint venture to be formed between Austar and Dr. Liu." (Id. at 4).

Read The Full CaseNot a Lexis Advance subscriber? Try it out for free.

Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.

425 F. Supp. 3d 336 *; 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206396 **

AUSTAR INTERNATIONAL LIMITED, DIRECTLY AGAINST AND DERIVATELY ON BEHALF OF AUSTARPHARMA LLC, Plaintiff, v. AUSTARPHARMA LLC, Defendant/Nominal Defendant, v. RONG LIU AND GUANGZHOU BRISTOL DRUG DELIVERY CO., LTD., Defendants.

CORE TERMS

trade secret, shareholders, technologies, allegations, motion to dismiss, products, misappropriation, conversion, delivery, asserts, personal jurisdiction, derivative action, parties, comity, pharmaceutical, futility, derivative claim, district court, Defendants', employees, courts, tortious interference, derivative, weighs, confidential, targeted, malice, limited liability company, supplemental jurisdiction, economic advantage