Judge Sue L. Robinson recently issued a memorandum opinion resolving the parties’ post-trial motions in INVISTA North America S.a.r.l. et al. v. M&G USA Corp. et al., C.A. No. 11-1007-SLR-CJB (D. Del. Mar. 31, 2014). Judge Robinson previously resolved several summary judgment motions (discussed here) and motions to strike or preclude evidence (discussed here and here).
The parties proceeded to trial on infringement of one claim and validity of several claims of the patent-in-suit. At the close of evidence, Judge Robinson granted Plaintiffs’ JMOL motion as to infringement, and the jury returned a verdict that the patent was valid. Id. at 1. Post-trial the parties filed several motions, including Defendants’ JMOL motions on invalidity and non-infringement, Plaintiffs’ motion for an injunction. Id. As a preliminary matter, Plaintiffs objected to Defendants renewed JMOL on non-infringement because the jury did not reach a verdict on the issue. Id. at 9 n.4. The court considered Defendants’ motion, however, because the parties did not provide “and the court [did not find] any clear direction in the case law that defendants are precluded from renewing the motion.” Id. Nevertheless, the court denied Defendants’ motion because it saw no basis to “revisit the evidentiary decisions made during the course of trial.” Id. at 10. “The court did not arrive at these decisions lightly, indeed, the court entertained both argument and briefing on these issues.” Id. Judge Robinson also denied Defendants’ JMOL motion as to invalidity, finding that the jury’s verdict was supported by substantial evidence. Id. at 23, 25, 29, 33.
Judge Robinson also considered and ultimately granted Plaintiffs’ motion for a permanent injunction. Judge Robinson noted that the parties are direct competitors, “offering the only ‘high barrier’ monolayer polyester barrier resins available in the market[.]” Id. at 36. Plaintiffs argued that that legal remedies would be inadequate compensation of the irreparable injuries they have suffered “‘including lost sales and market share, lost market opportunities, loss of research and development activities, a loss of goodwill and reputation in the market, and a forced loss of their patent exclusivity,” as each of these harms would be difficult to accurately quantify.” Id. at 40. The court agreed finding that this factor, as well as the balance of hardships, favored an injunction. Id. at 40-41.