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eBay, Permanent Injunctions, and Trade Secrets


Elizabeth A. Rowe


April 27, 2020

This Article presents the first qualitative empirical review of permanent injunctions in trade secret cases. In addition, it explores the extent to which the Supreme Court’s patent decision in eBay v. MercExchange has influenced the analysis of equitable principles in federal trade secret litigation. Among the more notable findings are that while equitable principles are generally applied in determining whether to grant a permanent injunction to a prevailing party after trial, the courts are not necessarily strictly applying the four factors from eBay. The award of monetary relief does not preclude equitable injunctive relief, and courts can find irreparable harm even where the loss has been compensated monetarily. Moreover, where injunctions are requested but denied, the lack of irreparable harm seemed to have been the factor most often articulated as the reason for the denial.


Elizabeth A. Rowe, eBay, Permanent Injunctions, and Trade Secrets, 77 Wash. & Lee L. Rev. 553 (2020).