August 01, 2012

Preliminary Injunctions in Trademark Cases - Did eBay REALLY Change the Standard

The Computer & Internet Lawyer, Volume 29, Number 8, August 1, 2012

by Stites & Harbison, PLLC

Prior to the Supreme Court's decision in eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C., most federal courts presented with a motion for a preliminary injunction in a trademark case routinely applied a presumption of irreparable harm once a plaintiff demonstrated a likelihood of success on the merits. Irreparable injury ordinarily was presumed to exist based on a theory that the infringement would injure intangible assets including the good-will associated with the mark and the plaintiff's reputation. This long-recognized presumption has been called into question by the Supreme Court's decision in the eBay case, in which the Supreme Court refuted the application of categorical rules favoring automatic entry of injunctive relief in the context of a permanent injunction for patent infringement. The Court cautioned that the injunctions should be treated as extraordinary remedies and reaffirmed the traditional four-factor test governing the award of injunctive relief.

This article is reprinted in its entirety with the permission of The Computer & Internet Lawyer, Aspen Publishers, ©2012.