In this case, the district court properly considered strong circumstantial evidence
that Microsoft’s infringement rendered i4i’s product obsolete for much of the custom
XML market, causing i4i to lose market share and change its business strategy to
survive. i4i was not required to prove that its specific customers stopped using i4i’s
evidence presented at trial, it was not an abuse for the district court to find that
Microsoft’s infringement irreparably injured i4i.
B. Inadequate Remedies at Law
The district court concluded that there were inadequate remedies at law to
compensate i4i for its injury. The district court found that before and after Microsoft
began infringing, i4i produced and sold software that practiced the patented method.
The district court found no evidence that i4i had previously licensed the patent, instead
finding evidence that i4i sought to retain exclusive use of its invention.
It was not an abuse of discretion for the district court to conclude that monetary
damages would be inadequate. In this case, a small company was practicing its patent,
only to suffer a loss of market share, brand recognition, and customer goodwill as the
result of the defendant’s infringing acts. Such losses may frequently defy attempts at
valuation, particularly when the infringing acts significantly change the relevant market,
as occurred here. The district court found that Microsoft captured 80% of the custom
XML market with its infringing Word products, forcing i4i to change its business strategy.
The loss associated with these effects is particularly difficult to quantify. Difficulty in
estimating monetary damages is evidence that remedies at law are inadequate.
Broadcom Corp. v. Qualcomm Inc., 543 F.3d 683, 703-04 (Fed. Cir. 2008).