Forum shopping just got easier – but beware potential traps

By Florian Traub

Recent case law signals a paradigm shift which might give parties seizing jurisdiction more flexibility. However, claimants should take account of factors beyond efficiency, cost and claimant-friendliness when selecting a forum

The term ‘forumshopping’ is generally understood as the practice of attempting to have a dispute adjudicated in a court that is thought most likely to provide a favourable decision or other advantages to the claimant. Factors that might potentially deliver such benefits to a claimant may cause significant disadvantages to the defendant – this asymmetry can prompt parties into making rush decisions in the race to seize the court of their choice. It is therefore hardly surprising that the EU Trademark Regulation (2017/1001) sets out clear rules on the international jurisdiction of EU trademark courts, which are designed to discourage forum shopping. The EU Community Designs Regulation (6/2002) goes even further, with Recital 30 expressly calling for a litigation system which “should avoid as far as possible forum shopping”.

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