Art Akiane LLC v. Art & Soulworks LLC, No. 19-cv-02952, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Sep. 16, 2021) (Chang, J.).

Judge Chang ruled on the parties’ choice of law dispute between Colorado and Illinois law in this intellectual property dispute.

Federal courts apply the forum’s choice of law rules. Illinois uses the forum’s law, unless there is a conflict with another state’s law. Illinois also uses its own law for procedural issues. The party seeking a choice of law determination has the burden of proving that there is a conflict between the laws. Where there is a conflict, Illinois follows the Second Restatement, which holds that the state’s law that applies is the state with the most significant connection to the dispute and the parties.

Illinois generally applies its own statutes of limitation, except that if the other state’s statute would prevent filing the suit, but Illinois’s would not, the other state’s statute applies to avoid filing in Illinois to avoid other state’s statutes of limitation.

The Court reasoned that the choice of law decision was ripe for determination because knowing the state of law was required to shape discovery going forward.