Aurelius Capital Partners LP, et al. v. The Republic of Argentina, presents the important international practice issue of how and when can assets of a non-U.S. sovereign be attached to satisfy a monetary judgment. Aurelius owns beneficial interest in defaulted bonds issued by the Republic of Argentina. The Court granted ex parte orders of attachment. One was directed to the interests of certain entities connected with Argentina in U.S. patents or pending patent applications. The second was directed to royalties generated by license agreement.
The Court, on consideration, vacated the orders of attachment. The Court determined that the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act distinguishes between the sovereign state from an agency or instrumentality of the soveign state. For the latter, the Court finds that the commercial activity exception must be satisfied — that is, the property interests sought to be attached must have been used for a commercial activity in the U.S.
On the basis the analysis provided by the Court, in each case the Court found that the property attached did not have the requisite connection to commercial activity in the U.S. The Court therefore vacated the attachment orders.