Court Rules SGL Carbon CAFC Appeal Will not Stop Preliminary Injunction

Veeco Instruments Inc. reported that the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York denied SGL Carbon, LLC’s (SGL) motion to suspend the November 2, 2017 preliminary injunction banning SGL’s sale of wafer carriers for use in MOCVD systems from Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc. (AMEC). (Ref: Coverage). The SGL motion requested that the court suspend, or “stay,” the preliminary injunction pending the outcome of the planned appeal by SGL to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC).

Therefore, the court’s preliminary injunction, which forbids SGL from shipping wafer carriers using Veeco’s patented technology, will remain in effect during SGL’s appeal.

Appeal Process at CAFC Ordinarily Takes a Year

Veeco points out that the appeal process at the CAFC ordinarily takes over a year to complete. So, in its appeal, SGL will have to convince the CAFC that the preliminary injunction should be overturned. The CAFC evaluates appeals of preliminary injunctions under the profoundly deferential “abuse of discretion” standard of review. As a result, Veeco believes that it is extremely improbable that the CAFC will overturn the preliminary injunction. Veeco also cites statistics showing that the CAFC affirms the vast majority of preliminary injunctions on appeal.

“We are pleased that the court confirmed its prior ruling and denied SGL’s request to stay the injunction,” said John R. Peeler, Chairman and CEO of Veeco. “We are confident that we will prevail before the appellate court in any appeal by SGL, and will continue to take steps in the U.S. and abroad to enforce Veeco’s IP rights.”

On April 12, 2017, Veeco first filed the original infringement complaint against SGL Carbon LLC and SGL Carbon SE in the federal court for the Eastern District of New York.

In addition to wanting to make the preliminary injunction permanent, Veeco is seeking monetary damages and other relief.