Sandra Rierson


The Supreme Court's decision in eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C. changed the law regarding remedies in patent cases - specifically the "general rule... that a permanent injunction will issue once infringement and validity have been adjudged. Prior to eBay, the Federal Circuit held that injunctive relief was an inappropriate remedy for patent infringement only in a narrow category of cases in which enjoining an infringer would frustrate an important public interest. The Supreme Court rejected that assumption, holding instead that plaintiffs seeking this form of remedy for patent infringement were required to satisfy the traditional, four-factor test for injunctive relief. Plaintiffs in such cases must now prove that (1) they have suffered an irreparable injury; (2) legal remedies, such as monetary damages, are inadequate to compensate for the injury; (3) the balance of hardships weighs in their favor; and (4) granting an injunction will not negatively impact the public interest.