Thursday, November 6, 2014

Dallas Buyers Club Injunctions Slapped Down

There are several Dallas Buyers Club cases pending here in Seattle. As is happening around the country, DBC is pushing forward to get subscriber information and then demanding settlements. These settlements include a stipulated injunction against any further infringement. The terms of hose stipulated injunctions don't really matter too much to the subscribers, but they create substantial marketing value for DBC.

Frequently a court is willing to enter pretty much any agreement between the parties if it means the case is settled. After all, if that's what both parties want to settle the dispute, then so be it. But inevitably a judge comes along who actually reads these injunctions with an eye toward fairness. Judge Jones in Seattle is one such judge. Rather than just rubber stamp the injunctions, Judge Jones called out problems that rendedered them unenforceable.

More specifically, Judge Jones wrote that the "court encourages the resolution of disputes, but the court declines to affix its imprimatur to an injunction order (which comes with the consequence of civil contempt for violations) under these circumstances. The court will not enjoin parties unknown to it, it will not enter a permanent injunction absent a judgment unless the parties cite authority permitting the court to do so, and it will not enter an injunction that has no effect other than to require the parties to follow the law."  See Order below.

In a nutshell, Judge Jones is telling the DBC folks that the Court will not attach the dignity of the Federal Judiciary to a simple marketing ploy for the purpose of generating even more and more strong-arm settlements. Good for him. Good for us all.

The entire order is embedded here: