Injunction : CAFC Alert

Permanent Injunctions: the Federal Circuit’s Causal Nexus Swing

Stephen Parker | December 11, 2013

Apple, Inc. v. Samsung Electronics – CAFC Opinion

Decided November 18, 2013

Panel: Judges Prost, Bryson and O’Malley, Opinion by Judge Prost

Summary

The Federal Circuit vacated the California District Court’s denial of permanent injunctive relief against Samsung for its infringement of Apple, Inc.’s smart phone utility patents on the basis of the District Court having abused its discretion by failing to properly analyze evidence of causal nexus pertaining to irreparable harm and the inadequacy of legal remedies.   This case is the third appeal to the Federal Circuit in this matter between Apple and Samsung.  In 2011, in Apple’s initial infringement suit against Samsung, the jury found that twenty-six (26) Samsung smart phones infringed on six (6) Apple patents, and awarded Apple more than $1 billion in damages.   Prior appeals to the Federal Circuit involved appeals related to preliminary injunctive relief (Apple I and II).  While the Federal Circuit in prior appeal (Apple II) had rejected the District Court’s award of a preliminary injunction for not having considered the causal nexus requirement, the Federal Circuit now vacates the District Court’s award of permanent injunctive relief for having placed too much emphasis on the causal nexus requirement.

Details

Background:

Upon obtaining the District Court decision, Apple moved for a permanent injunction to enjoin Samsung from importing or selling any of its twenty-six (26) infringing products or any other product not more than colorably different.  Apple’s appeal is based on infringement of Apple’s 1) utility patents, 2) design patents and 3) trade dress.  On December 12, 2012, the District Court denied the request for a permanent injunction.  Here, the Federal Circuit affirmed the denial of permanent injunction for infringement of the design patents and trade dress, but vacated and remanded the denial of permanent injunction for infringement of the utility patents.
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Apple is bit at CAFC: The Court reversed and remanded a preliminary injunction obtained at the District Court against Samsung’s Galaxy Nexus Smartphone

Michael Caridi | October 17, 2012

Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics, Ltd. et al.

Decided: October 11, 2012

Panel:  Prost, Moore, and Reyna.  Opinion by Prost.

Summary

The CAFC reversed the District Court’s finding that there was irreparable harm to Apple by allowing sales of the Galaxy Nexus.  The CAFC held that there was an insufficient causal nexus between the claimed invention and the sales of the product.  The Court also addressed Apple’s likelihood of success to interject claim construction.


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Presumption of validity attaches to all issued patents, even incorrectly issued patents

Andrew Melick | July 5, 2012

Sciele Pharma Inc. v. Lupin Ltd.

July 2, 2012

Panel: Lourie, Prost, Moore.  Opinion by Moore

Summary

Shionogi (new name for Sciele Pharma) obtained US Patent No. 6,866,866 (“the ‘866 patent”) which included broader claims that were intended to be cancelled in favor of narrower claims in response to a rejection.  Shionogi brought suit against Lupin for infringement of the ‘866 patent including claims that were to be cancelled.  Lupin began selling the alleged infringing product and Shionogi moved for a preliminary injunction.  The District Court granted Shionogi’s request for preliminary injunction and Lupin appealed.  On appeal, the CAFC stated that even though the ‘866 patent issued with the incorrect claims, the ‘866 patent nonetheless had a presumption of validity and that the clear and convincing evidentiary standard applied for invalidating the patent.  The CAFC also stated that there is not a heightened standard just because references were considered by the PTO.  With the proper clear and convincing evidentiary standard applied to the ‘866 patent, the CAFC stated that Lupin has raised a substantial question of invalidity, and thus, the preliminary injunction is vacated.


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A showing of causal nexus is required between infringement and alleged harm to patentee

Kumiko Ide | May 23, 2012

Apple, Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., et al.

May 14, 2012

Panel:  Bryson, Prost, and O’Malley.  Opinion by Bryson.  Concurrence-in-part and dissent-in-part by O’Malley.

Summary

Apple filed suit against Samsung alleging infringement of Apple’s U.S. Design Patent Nos. D593,087 (“the D’087 patent”), D618,677 (“the D’677 patent”), D504,889 (“the D’889 patent”), and U.S. Patent No. 7,469,381 (“the ’381 patent”).  Apple’s iPhone embodies the design in the D’087 patent and D’677 patent, and Apple’s iPad embodies the design in the D’889 patent.  Both iPhone and iPad embody a software feature known as the “bounce-back” feature of the ‘381 patent.  The district court denied Apple’s motion for a preliminary injunction with respect to each of the accused devices and all four asserted patents.  Apple appealed.  The CAFC affirms the denial of a preliminary injunction with respect to the D’087, D’677, and ’381 patents, but vacates and reminds with respect to the D’889 patent.

アップル社は、サムスン社がアップル社の米国意匠特許第D593,087号(D’087特許)、D618,677号(D’677特許)、D504,889号(D’889特許)と米国特許第7,469,381号(’381特許)を侵害しているとして訴えた。D’087特許及びD’677特許は、アップル社のiPhoneに係わる意匠で、D’889特許は、iPadに係わる意匠である。また、’381特許は、iPhone及びiPadに係わるソフトウェアである。アップル社は、サムスン社のイ号製品について仮差し止めの申し立てをしたが、地裁はこれを却下した。控訴審でCAFCは、D’087特許、D’677特許及び’381特許に関しては地裁の判決を支持したものの、D’889特許についての判決は破棄・差し戻しした。


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CAFC Allows Willful Infringer to Continue Infringements for an “Ongoing Royalty” Due to “the Public’s Interest to Allow Competition in the Medical Device Arena”

Stephen Parker | February 16, 2012

Bard Peripheral Vascular, Inc., et al. v. W.L. Gore & Associates, Inc.

February 10, 2012

Panel: Gajarsa, Linn and NewmanOpinion by Gajarsa.  Dissent by Newman.

Summary

This decision concludes a forty-year-long story that began in 1973 between two cooperating individuals that independently filed patent applications for vascular grafts in 1974.  Those applications went to interference in 1983 and have been the subject of ongoing litigation since, concluding now in the current CAFC decision.  The Arizona district court from which the present case was appealed expressed that this was “the most complicated case the district court has [ever] presided over.”  In this case, the Gore inventor was the first to both 1) conceive of the invention and 2) file a patent application in 1974 (i.e., filing 6 months prior to the Bard inventor), but Gore lost in an interference before the Patent Office.  Now, Gore is found to be willfully infringing the patent that was awarded to Bard, and is subjected to doubled damages (i.e., totaling $371 million) and attorney’s fees (i.e., totaling $19 million).  However, despite these findings, the CAFC allows Gore to continue infringing, declining a permanent injunction and awarding reasonable royalties in the amount of between 12.5% to 20% for future infringements due to the weight of “the public interest to allow competition in the medical device arena.”


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KSR Reigned In For A Preliminary Injunction

John Kong | January 18, 2012

Celsis in Vitro, Inc. v Cellzdirect, Inc. and Invitrogen Corp.

January 9, 2012

Panel:  Rader, Gajarsa, and Prost.  Opinion by Rader; Dissent by Gajarsa.

Summary:

While Rader’s majority opinion affirmed the district court’s grant of a preliminary injunction despite defendant’s obviousness challenge, Gajarsa’s dissenting opinion asserts that the majority’s decision disregards the Supreme Court’s KSR flexible guidelines regarding the finding of obviousness in the mere repetition of well-known techniques to achieve a desired result, and in the application of “obvious to try.”  Gajarsa’s dissent also notes that this is a preliminary injunction, and the standard is not whether defendant has shown obviousness by clear and convincing evidence, but rather, whether defendant has shown a “substantial question of invalidity” to defeat a preliminary injunction.  Perhaps, the strongest position for the majority opinion is its consideration of the showing of a “teaching away” in the record, as well as deference given to the district court’s determinations of credibility of the parties’ expert witnesses.


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