Federal Circuit: National Instruments v. MathWorks

National Instruments v. MathWorks (Fed. Cir. 2004) (03-1540) (unpublished opinion).

National Instruments (NI) sued MathWorks overs for infringement of its patented method of creating data flow diagrams.  The jury sided with NI and the district court denied Mathworks’ subsequent motion for JMOL.

On appeal, MathWorks raised several issues and argued that the permanent injunction issued by the district court went impermissibly beyond the jury’s findings.  Specifically, MathWorks argued that its Simulink software had many non-infringing use and that a product based injunction was unduly broad.  However, the Appellate Panel, reviewing for an abuse of discretion, affirmed — holding that the trial court was sufficiently cognizant of MathWorks arguments in its decision.

MathWorks VP Richard Rovner outlined their position going forward:

First, The MathWorks will abide by the decision of the court and will make modifications to the Simulink product.

Second, the decision affirms that customers can continue to use previously purchased Simulink products and that The MathWorks can continue to provide technical support for these products.

Third, The MathWorks remains fully committed to the Simulink product family and, consistent with the court’s decision, will continue to support and enhance it.

National Instruments Press Release
MathWorks Press Release