David Lilenfeld Blog The intellectual property blog of David Lilenfeld


Presumption of Irreparable Harm Disappears – discussion led by David Lilenfeld

By David Lilenfeld on January 16, 2016

In its 2006 decision eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C. (547 U.S. 388), the United States rejected a long-standing general rule in patent infringement cases.  That general rule had trial courts favoring granting permanent injunctions (i.e., orders requiring a party to refrain from certain activities) against alleged patent infringers.  This favor developed because irreparable harm -- a requirement in most other types of cases in which a permanent injunction is sought -- was presumed to exist in if the court (or jury) found patent infringement.  The new rule, according to this case, has trial courts applying the traditional, four-factor permanent injunction used in most case to patent infringement cases. In other words, irreparable harm is no longer presumed; rather, it has to be proven.

David Lilenfeld, founder of Lilenfeld PC, moderated a panel discussion in which the participants discussed how the MercExchange case has changed the way permanent injunctions are sought and the frequency with which they are granted.  The panel also features Ronald T. Coleman Jr., of Parker Hudson Rainer & Dobbs; Ann G. Fort, of Sutherland; and Frank G. Smith III, of Alston & Bird.

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