Wednesday, January 27, 2016

(Future) Motion for Temporary Restraining Order Granted

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) provides a highly publicized venue for companies to showcase their cutting-edge technology and innovative designs.  Just days before this year’s show in Las Vegas, NV, one design patent owner prevented an alleged infringer from distributing, promoting, and offering to sell potentially infringing products.  Follow the jump to learn why an emergency temporary restraining order was granted to the design patent owner without an opportunity for the defendant to appear.

Plaintiff Future Motion, Inc. moved ex parte for a Temporary Restraining Order, Seizure Order and a Preliminary Injunction against Changzhou First International Trade Co., Ltd.  Future Motion, which holds U.S. Patent No. D746,928, alleged that Changzhou was distributing, promoting, and offering to sell infringing products branded as “Surfing Electric Scooter” at CES.  Changzhou failed to respond to Future Motion's reasonable efforts to notify it of its infringement, and as such, Future Motion moved for immediate injunctive relief to stop Changzhou's infringing activities.  

The Court considered the motion for a temporary restraining order on an emergency basis.  In doing so, it found that Future Motion was likely to succeed in showing that Defendant infringed the D'928 patent, given the visible similarities, as shown below.  The court also found that the Defendant was likely to offer the infringing products at CES later that week.  Further, because Defendant is a China-based manufacturer with no regular place of business or assets in the US, the Court determined that Defendant was likely to leave the US after the show, making it difficult or impossible for Future Motion to recover a monetary judgement.

Absent an ex parte restraining order, the Court determined, Defendant’s promotion and offers for sale of the accused products would result in immediate and irreparable injury to Future Motion in the form of lost market share, loss of control over its valuable intellectual property rights, loss of consumer goodwill, and interference with its ability to exploit the D'928 patent.  Accordingly, the Court found it appropriate to prevent Defendant from exhibiting and offering for sale its allegedly infringing products at CES.  Because the show was the same week as the motion was filed, the temporary restraining order was granted immediately and on an emergency basis.  Future Motion’s design patent rights afforded it the opportunity to immediately prevent an alleged infringer from displaying and offering to sell potentially infringing products at a major trade show.

No comments :

Post a Comment