Have you ever asked yourself what is a preliminary injunction?
If you have, you have arrived at the right place, you can impress all your friends with fancy “legal knowledge” by simply reading on.
What is a preliminary injunction?
A preliminary injunction is an order from a court to a person or a company to either not do something or to do something. It is “preliminary” because the court typically makes the ruling at the beginning of the case prior to having a full trial where both sides gets a chance to present their case. Judges not juries decide on and issue preliminary injunctions.
For example, a preliminary injunction might order a person to refrain from contacting clients of a former employer, to enforce a non-compete agreement, or it might prohibit an organization from taking certain actions like locking striking worker’s out of the workplace. In the context of the Apple-Samsung lawsuit, it could be an order that prohibits Samsung from selling phones that infringe on Apple’s property. UPDATE: See Apple’s actual request here.
How does one get a preliminary injunction?
The first step is to file a motion with the court asking for the preliminary injunction and laying out the arguments in favor of it. The next step is usually a hearing where both sids of the case get to present their arugments, for and against.
To get a preliminary injunction, a party must prove, among other things, that if the complained of conduct is not prohibited immediately, the party will suffer harm that cannot be fixed by other party simply paying money (damages). This concept is known as “irreparable harm.”
Specific Elements of a preliminary injunction from Wikipedia:
1. That there is a substantial likelihood of success on the merits of the case,
2. That they face a substantial threat of irreparable damage or injury if the injunction is not granted,
3. That the balance of harms weighs in favor of the party seeking the preliminary injunction
4. That the grant of an injunction would serve the public interest.
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