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Black & Decker Inc. v. Robert Bosch Tool Corp.

November 29, 2006


The opinion of the court was delivered by: Amy J. St. Eve, District Court Judge


Plaintiffs Black & Decker Inc. and Black & Decker (U.S.) Inc. (collectively "Black & Decker") brought this lawsuit against Defendant Robert Bosch Tool Corporation ("Bosch") alleging infringement of various claims of U.S. Patent Nos. 6,308,059 (the "'059 patent") and 6,788,925 (the "'925 patent"). On September 22, 2006, a jury returned a verdict finding that the Bosch Power Box radio chargers at issue, namely, the PB-10 and the PB-10-CD, infringed certain claims of both patents-in-suit. Before the Court is Black & Decker's Motion for a Permanent Injunction pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 283. For the following reasons, the Court, in its discretion, grants Black & Decker's Motion for a Permanent Injunction as to the Bosch Power Box radio chargers Models PB-10 and PB-10-CD.


I. Permanent Injunctions Under the Patent Act

Section 283 of title 35 states: "The several courts having jurisdiction of cases under this title may grant injunctions in accordance with the principles of equity to prevent the violation of any right secured by patent, on such terms as the court deems reasonable." 35 U.S.C. § 283.

"According to well-established principles of equity, a plaintiff seeking a permanent injunction must satisfy a four-factor test before a court may grant such relief. A plaintiff must demonstrate:

(1) that it has suffered an irreparable injury; (2) that remedies available at law, such as monetary damages, are inadequate to compensate for that injury; (3) that, considering the balance of hardships between the plaintiff and defendant, a remedy in equity is warranted; and (4) that the public interest would not be disserved by a permanent injunction." eBay Inc. v. MercExchange, L.L.C., ___U.S.___, 126 S.Ct. 1837, 1839, 164 L.Ed.2d 641 (2006).

"The decision to grant or deny permanent injunctive relief is an act of equitable discretion by the district court, reviewable on appeal for abuse of discretion." Id.; see also Abbott Labs. v. Andrx Pharms., Inc., 452 F.3d 1331, 1334 (Fed. Cir. 2006) (decision to grant or deny injunction within sound discretion of district court). The eBay Court specifically held that equitable injunction standards apply equally to cases brought under the Patent Act. See eBay, 126 S.Ct. at 1839. Thus, the Supreme Court reversed the Federal Circuit's traditional rule that "courts will issue permanent injunctions against patent infringement absent exceptional circumstances." Monsanto Co. v. Scruggs, 459 F.3d 1328, 1341-42 (Fed. Cir. 2006).*fn1

II. Compliance with Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(d)

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(d) governs the proper scope and form of permanent injunctions:

Every order granting an injunction and every restraining order shall set forth the reasons for its issuance; shall be specific in terms; shall describe in reasonable detail, and not by reference to the complaint or other document, the act or acts sought to be restrained; and is binding only upon the parties to the action, their officers, agents, servants, employees, and attorneys, and upon those persons in active concert or participation with them who receive actual notice of the order by personal service or otherwise. "[T]he Supreme Court has denounced broad injunctions that merely instruct the enjoined party not to violate a statute," because "[s]uch injunctions increase the likelihood of unwarranted contempt proceedings for acts unlike or unrelated to those originally judged unlawful." International Rectifier Corp. v. IXYS Corp., 383 F.3d 1312, 1316-17 (Fed. Cir. 2004) (citation omitted); see also Additive Controls & Measurement Sys., Inc. v. Flowdata, Inc., 986 F.2d 476 (Fed. Cir. 1993) ("Supreme Court does not countenance overly broad injunctions due to the threat of costly contempt proceedings for acts unrelated to those originally judged unlawful.") Furthermore, Rule 65(d) "requires an injunction to prohibit only those acts sought to be restrained," namely, "infringement of the patent by the devices adjudged to infringe and infringement by devices no more than colorably different therefrom." International Rectifier, 383 F.3d at 1317. In other words, "an injunction cannot impose unnecessary restraints on lawful activity." Riles v. Shell Exploration & Prod. Co., 298 F.3d 1302, 1311 (Fed. Cir. 2002).


I. New Power Box Radio -- PB-10-CD Advanced

On August 23, 2006, the Court granted Bosch's motion in limine to preclude Black & Decker from raising a new accused product at trial, namely, the Bosch Power Box Model PB-10-CD Advanced. (See R. 375-1.) Accordingly, the parties did not try before the jury the issue of whether the PB-10-CD Advanced infringed Black & Decker's patent rights. Instead, the PB-10-CD Advanced is the subject of another lawsuit that Black & Decker filed in August 2006, Case No. 06 C 4440. Thus, at issue before the Court is ...

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