In a recent, Ruling the Federal Circuit confirmed the In re Wands factors for deciding whether or not a patent disclosure requires undue experimentation and should be held invalid for lack of enablement. However, it is more interesting that after the jury’s finding that the evidence was insufficient to hold the patent invalid and that the’552 Patent was infringed; the District Court failed to grant an injunction.
In this case, the District Court was swayed by the Manufacturer’s representation that it would move its manufacturing factories to Mexico, if such an injunction were to be issued. Although the Federal Circuit affirmed the District Court’s Ruling, it asked the District Court to reconsider the denial of the injunction based on a representation of changed circumstances.
However, the Federal Circuit did not state that it was improper for the District Court to consider whether the Defendants would relocate its manufacturing to Mexico in deciding whether or not to enjoin current or future infringement. Instead, the Federal Circuit quoted prior precedent permitting the District Court to consider a variety of equitable considerations and implicitly stated that it would be proper for the District Court to consider the potential loss of domestic manufacturing factories.
Thus, it looks like in today’s economic times, even the Courts will be considering the need for jobs. It remains to be seen how much weight the need for manufacturing jobs will be given by Courts, in deciding whether or not a Patentee can acquire an injunction. However, defendants and patent infringers may just have found another method of preventing the enjoinment of their ongoing business operations. In essence, the denial of injunctive remedies might lead to a situation where a compulsory licenses have to be negotiated.