First Post-eBay Injunction Decision Issues in Delaware

In the first post-eBay injunction decision in the District of Delaware, Chief Judge Sue L. Robinson denied, without prejudice to renew, a plaintiff’s application for permanent injunctive relief.

In the underlying action between loan-application companies IMX Inc. and LendingTree LLC, plaintiff IMX prevailed before a jury on its infringement claim. But considering the company’s request for equitable relief, Chief Judge Robinson refused, in light of the Supreme Court’s intervening decision in eBay v. MercExchange, to rule without the benefit of a full record:

“The Court declines to effectively impose a ten-year compulsory license on defendant absent more information, for example, the effects of defendant’s infringement on plaintiff’s business and of a potential permanent injunction on the public and the marketplace.” (slip op. at 47)

According to the Court, IMX should have supplemented its injunction arguments to account for the eBay decision, which came down after submission of the initial round of briefing. As a result, IMX failed to offer the types of evidence the Court sought:

“Plaintiff . . . put forward no evidence of irreparable harm resulting from defendant’s infringement, for example, market or financial data, to support its sweeping statements.” (slip op. at 43)

Ultimately, the question whether eBay will hamper the frequency in which permanent injunctions have previously been issued must wait for another day: in its Order, the Court granted IMX leave to renew once any appeal on the liability phase is resolved.

Also yesterday, the Court issued its decision on .

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