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Temporary Injunctions: Pros and Cons


When people or businesses sue, they usually sue for money damages. But often, they will also ask for an injunction. An injunction is a court order that stops someone from doing something or from engaging in a specific behavior.

When are Temporary Injunctions Needed?

Injunctions are common for things like intellectual property infringement, where the movant is asking the court to stop the other side from using the intellectual property without permission, or in non-compete agreements, where someone is asking the court to stop someone else from working in violation of the agreement. It may also be used with trade secrets, where a party asks a court to stop usage of, or misappropriation of, trade secrets.

Like any kind of lawsuit, injunctions take time and need to make their way through the courts. But as you can see from any of those common scenarios above, time may not be something that you can afford.

If someone is using your trade secrets, or infringing on your copyright, or soliciting your customers or clients, you need that behavior to stop, now—not in 9 months when the court has a trial date available to you.

That’s why the law allows you to ask the court to issue a temporary injunction. A temporary injunction is issued immediately, before all the matters in the case can be heard. As the name implies, it is only temporary—it can be overturned if, during the full trial later on, or based on settlement between the parties, something changes.

Proof for Temporary Injunctions

To get a temporary injunction, the moving party must show irreparable harm unless the offending behavior is stopped immediately, and show that the movant will probably win the case during the full trial. The movant also must show that simply going forward with a case and getting money damages, won’t be enough or won’t be sufficient.

A Big Risk?

Note that temporary injunctions can be a big risk, and courts don’t like granting them; they are usually reserved for special situations.

Because you are asking for them immediately, you may not have all the evidence that you need to show the necessary factors. And during the injunction hearing, you may be “showing your cards,” by showing the other side what your arguments and evidence will be, during the eventual, full blown trial.

If you ask for a temporary injunction and it isn’t granted, it may even empower the other side into thinking it has a stronger, and you a weaker case.

Temporary injunctions can be appealed, so if you win, and the other side wants to appeal, you will have that appeal to deal with at the same time as litigating the actual underlying case.

For all the drawbacks, sometimes a temporary injunction is a necessity—you can’t allow your business to suffer harm. Your commercial litigation attorney can discuss whether a temporary injunction may be right for you.

We can help you protect your business. Call our West Palm Beach business attorneys at Pike & Lustig with any questions you may have.




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