Finisar v. DirectTV Group (E.D. Tex. 2006).
A jury found willful infringement by DirectTV. However, in the post-trial hearing, the court denied Finisar’s motion for injunctive relief and instead granted a compulsory license.
Reasoning from the transcript:
- Patentee has no irreparable harm because it never made or licensed the invention and DirectTV has money to pay damages. [The court found no presumption of irreparable harm.]
- Because there are only two major competitors in the "market" (DirectTV and EchoStar), an injunction against DirectTV could create a de facto monopoly in EchoStar’s favor.
- A compulsory license will adequately compensate Finisar — "especially since Finisar never had the will nor the means to implement the patent itself."
- Hardship to DirectTV would be enormous. Thousands of employees out of work . . . 15 million lose the ability to watch TV . . . ripple effect . . . "some would say this is a blessing."
- Kathi Lutton and Ruffin Cordell of Fish & Richardson have provided several key documents here.