Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Plaintiff’s Inability to Assert Assignor Estoppel in IPR No Basis for Preliminary Injunction Precluding IPR Petition

The court denied plaintiff's motion for a preliminary injunction precluding defendant from seeking reexamination or inter partes review because plaintiff failed to establish irreparable harm through its inability to raise an assignor estoppel defense in post-grant proceedings. "Plaintiff asserts it will be irreparably harmed if the Court does not enjoin Defendant from seeking reexamination or inter partes review . . . [because] Plaintiff would be unable to raise assignor estoppel as a defense during inter partes proceedings; and . . . Defendant may succeed in having one or more of the claims in the patents cancelled. . . . Multiple contingencies must occur before Defendant's petition would injure Plaintiff. Specifically, the [PTO] would have to institute the proceedings and reach a finding of invalidity before Plaintiff would actually suffer injuries from Defendant's petition. Since, at this time, the Court cannot predict whether the [PTO] will decide to institute inter partes review, the circumstances Plaintiff offers show a possibility of injury, but are too contingent to satisfy the likelihood of irreparable harm standard. . . . Plaintiff has not provided, and the Court has not found, any precedent case enjoining a defendant from seeking inter partes review at this stage in the proceedings."

IGT v. Aristocrat Technologies, Inc., 2-15-cv-00473 (NVD September 18, 2015, Order) (Navarro, J.)

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