In eBay v. MercExchange, the Supreme Court correctly rejected the Federal Circuit's general rule requiring that a permanent injunction follow from a finding that a patent is valid and infringed. Recognizing that one size does not fit all in patent law, the Court returned traditional equitable discretion to the district courts. With this discretion, district courts can now deploy remedies for patent infringement that are sensitive to relevant differences among industries, technologies, and entities. This Essay sets the Court's rejection of a uniform remedial regime in a larger context concerning the role of uniformity in patent law. It then explores the Court's own reasons for rejecting a one-size-fits-all approach to injunctive relief. Finally, it analyzes the salient differences that deserve attention from patent courts and summarizes these in a set of guidelines that can be used for evaluating the propriety of permanent injunctive relief in patent cases.
Michael W. Carroll,
Patent Injunctions and the Problem of Uniformity Cost,
Mich. Telecomm. & Tech. L. Rev.
Available at: http://repository.law.umich.edu/mttlr/vol13/iss2/4