Like all right-thinking people, I hate the Hague.
Not the city, which is probably a nice place with a rich tradition of tulips and sausages, but the convention on international service of process which is a nightmare for those of us used to the stereotypically fast and loose system that reigns on this side of the pond.
The rules are labyrinthine, the requirements that can be figured out are onerous, and it frequently takes months for the central authority to determine that you've done something wrong and need to start the whole process over again. If, however, you somehow manage to get the central authority's stamp of approval, you've effectively insulated yourself from later attacks on the method of service.
That was the lesson of Judge Williams recent opinion in Tigo Energy Inc. v. SMA Solar Tech. Am. LLS, C.A. No. 22-915-GBW (D. Del. Oct. 23, 2023) (Mem. Op.). The plaintiff there had sued a german company and its american subsidiary for patent infringement. Service on the U.S. entity was easy enough, but the German parent refused to waive service, forcing the Plaintiff to go through the Hague. After a rejection, the central authority accepted the application and effected service on the German parent. The German parent then moved to dismiss for ineffective service, alleging that the documents failed to comply with the Hague convention, and that the German central authority accidentally served an unrelated company.
Judge Williams found these arguments ...