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William Gluckin & Co. v. Int'l Playtex Corp. - 407 F.2d 177 (2d Cir. 1969)

Rule:

As a principle of sound judicial administration, the first suit should have priority over a second suit, absent the showing of balance of convenience in favor of the second action, unless there are special circumstances which justify giving priority to the second. In deciding between competing jurisdictions, it has often been stated that the balancing of convenience should be left to the sound discretion of the district courts.

Facts:

International Playtex Corporation (Playtex) filed a patent infringement action against F. W. Woolworth & Co. (Woolworth) in Northern District of Georgia. Subsequently, a second suit was brought against Playtex by William Gluckin & Co. (Gluckin) for a declaration of patent invalidity and non-infringement in the Southern District of New York. A preliminary injunction restraining Playtex from further prosecuting its first lawsuit was entered. Playtex appealed.

Issue:

Did the district court err in granting a preliminary injunction restraining Playtex from further prosecuting its first lawsuit?

Answer:

No

Conclusion:

The court held there was no abuse of discretion in granting the preliminary injunction since there were factors of substance indicating the balance of convenience was in favor of proceeding first in the second action. Playtex in the first action consenting to be made a party in the second action, was amendable to service in the district of the second action, as all litigants had offices and places of business in the district of the second action, and as most witnesses and counsel were located in the district of the second action.

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