Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Patentee Entitled to Permanent Injunction Despite Granting Earlier Licenses Where Licensees and Infringing Party Compete

In granting plaintiff's motion for a permanent injunction, the court found that defendant's infringing products competed with plaintiff's licensees and therefore irreparably harmed plaintiff. "While [the parties] are not direct competitors, the record establishes that [defendant's] Infringing Systems are in direct competition with [plaintiff's] licensees and that [defendant's] use of the infringing products interferes with [plaintiff's] licensing opportunities. . . . [Plaintiff] pursued a number of different commercial activities with the relevant patent portfolio including endeavoring to manufacture the patented equipment, soliciting purchase offers for the patents, granting licenses to some entities, and declining to grant licenses to others. In light of the range of commercial activities [plaintiff] has engaged in with the Patents-In-Suit, the Court finds the present case to be factually distinguishable from those cases where the patentee routinely grants boilerplate licenses to any interested parties to such an extent that permitting a licensed infringer to remain on the market would not irreparably harm the patentee."

Harris Corporation v. Federal Express Corporation, 6-07-cv-01819 (FLMD February 28, 2011, Order) (Antoon, J.)

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