Following a jury verdict of infringement, a court in the Northern District of California permanently enjoined the defendants from making or selling the infringing products, providing customer support related to those products, and modifying or updating any document regarding the operation or use of those products. The court delayed the injunction with a nine month sunset period for the defendants to get its affairs in order and minimize any effect on third parties. Toward the end of the nine months, the defendants moved to stay the injunction altogether or, in the alternative, for a five month extension to pursue an appeal to the Federal Circuit.
The defendants argued that the injunction would cause irreparable harm because the lack of an acceptable non-infringing design may put them out of business. The court rejected this argument as speculative and noted that the defendants’ claims about the centrality of the claimed invention to its revenue stream undermines rather than supports the argument in favor of a stay.
Defendants also argued that the plaintiff, as a non-practicing entity, would not be harmed if the injunction is stayed pending appeal. The court flatly rejected this argument, noting that defendants “take no account of the fundamental nature of the right at issue: the right to exclude.” The court went on to note that this period of exclusivity is particularly important given the inevitable expiration date: “[W]hether for Thomas Edison and his light bulb patents or AMI and its off-the-shelf purchase, the exclusive rights under 35 U.S.C. 271 are the same; that period of exclusivity never comes back.”
Ultimately, the court denied the motion to stay and the motion to extend the sunset period.
Accessories Marketing, Inc. v. Tek Corp., 5-11-cv-00774 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 13, 2014).