Patent Injunctions and the Problem of Uniformity Cost

24 Pages Posted: 10 Jun 2007

See all articles by Michael W. Carroll

Michael W. Carroll

American University Washington College of Law


In eBay v. MercExchange, the Supreme Court correctly rejected a one-size-fits-all approach to patent injunctions. However, the Court's opinion does not fully recognize that the problem of uniformity in patent law is more general and that this problem cannot be solved through case-by-case analysis. This Essay provides a field guide for implementing eBay using functional analysis and insights from a uniformity-cost framework developed more fully in prior work. While there can be no general rule governing equitable relief in patent cases, the traditional four factor analysis for injunctive relief should lead the cases to cluster around certain patterns that often will have an industry-specific cast. This Essay identifies these patterns and summarizes the guideposts that courts and litigants should look for when conducting the traditional analysis in patent cases.

Keywords: Patent, Intellectual Property, Injunction, uniformity cost, one-size-fits-all

Suggested Citation

Carroll, Michael W., Patent Injunctions and the Problem of Uniformity Cost. Michigan Telecommunications and Technology Law Review, Vol. 13, p. 421, 2007, Villanova Law/Public Policy Research Paper No. 2007-14, Available at SSRN:

Michael W. Carroll (Contact Author)

American University Washington College of Law ( email )

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Washington, DC 20016
United States
202-274-4047 (Phone)
202-730-4756 (Fax)


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