Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Removal of App from Apple iTunes Store Did Not Constitute Irreparable Harm Sufficient for Preliminary Injunction

The court denied defendants' request for a preliminary injunction that would require plaintiffs to "rescind their demand that Apple withdraw [defendant's software application]" from the Apple iTunes App Store. In response to plaintiff's accusations that defendant's App infringed plaintiff's patent, and in the absence of a resolution of that dispute, Apple had removed defendant's App from the App Store. "[Defendant] contends that the total loss and destruction of a business constitutes irreparable harm. However, [defendant] cites to no controlling authority that so holds. Instead, numerous controlling authorities hold that where the injury suffered is a loss of money, irreparable harm cannot be demonstrated. Moreover, the only evidence [defendant] relies upon to factually establish irreparable harm is the declaration [of an employee], in which she states that '[i]f the App is not immediately restored to the iTunes App store, [defendant's] business, which is solely related to selling, upgrading and supporting the App, will be irreparably harmed. [Defendant's] reputation and goodwill among the relevant community will be irreparably destroyed; [defendant] will lose substantial customers and potential customers; and the value of [defendant's] App will be irretrievably lost.' These statements are conclusory and unsupported. . . . [Moreover] [defendant] cannot obtain preliminary injunctive relief because any order entered by this Court would be futile. The only remedy that would provide [defendant] with the outcome it desires and halt the irreparable harm it is allegedly suffering is the reinstatement of the App on Apple's iTunes App Store. This Court does not have the power to afford [defendants] that remedy."

Semantic Compaction Systems, Inc., et. al. v. Speak For Yourself LLC, et. al., 2-12-cv-00248 (PAWD July 14, 2012, Order) (Lancaster, J.).

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