irreparable harm : 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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