In a 2-1 decision, the Federal Circuit vacated the injunction and contempt order subsequent to PTO's reexam. ePlus Inc. v. Lawson Software, Inc. In this case, ePlus sued Lawson Software for infringement. The district court found infringement of method and system claims. On appeal, the Federal Circuit affirmed only the infringement of one method claim and remanded. Thereafter, the district court modified the injunction and found Lawson in contempt. Lawson appealed both the order and during the pendency of the appeal, the USPTO during its reexamination found the infringed method claim as invalid. Writing for the majority, Judge Dyk reasoned that the 1855 decision of the Supreme Court in Pennsylvania v. Wheeling & Belmont Bridge Co. requires an injunction to be set aside where the legal basis for it has ceased to exist. It set aside the contempt order because the injunction was not a final judgment. In his dissenting opinion, Judge O'Malley found the majority's reliance on the Fresenius II decision to set aside the contempt order as troubling. Full text of the opinion is available here.
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