South-Western Legal Studies in Business

Patent Infringer to Pay Damages for Further Infringement, Injunction Denied
Description Court held that a patent infringer would pay monetary damages for past and future infringement but that an injunction against future infringement would not be imposed because of the harm to the public, which would lose the use of the good containing the infringement.
Topic Intellectual Property
Key Words Patents; Infringement; Injunction; Damages
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts z4 sued Microsoft for infringement of its patents concerning methods for limiting the unauthorized use of computer software (product activation). The jury found that Microsoft willfully infringed on z4's patents and awarded $115 million in damages. z4 asked the court to impose an injunction against the use of the patents by Microsoft, which is involved in Windows XP and Microsoft Office software.

Motion denied. A plaintiff is entitled to injunctive relief if he can show that he has suffered an irreparable injury; that remedies at law, such as monetary damages, are inadequate to compensate for the injury, and that the public interest would not be harmed by an injunction. Here, z4 has failed to show that it would suffer irreparable harm by continued infringement. Monetary damages for future infringement are adequate remedies at law. If Microsoft were required to deactivate all software, the harm to users in the public would outweigh the hardship suffered by z4 due to continued infringement.

Citation z4 Technologies v. Microsoft, ---F.Supp.2d--- (2006 WL 1676893, E.D. Tex., 2006)

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