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Citrix Systems Inc. v. Workspot, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

August 16, 2019

WORKSPOT, INC., Defendant.

          David E. Moore, Bindu A. Palapura, and Stephanie E. O'Byrne, POTTER ANDERSON & CORROON LLP, Wilmington, DE H. Mark Lyon, GIBSON DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP, Palo Alto, CA Y. Ernest Hsin, GIBSON DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP, San Francisco, CA Jennifer Rho, GIBSON DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP, Los Angeles, CA Karen A. Gibbs, Campbell, CA Attorneys for Plaintiff

          Denise S. Kraft and Brian A. Biggs, DLA PIPER LLP (US), Wilmington, DE Michael G. Strapp, Larissa Park, Kristoffer W. Lange, and Yasmin Ghassab, DLA PIPER LLP (US), Boston, MA Attorneys for Defendant



         Plaintiff Citrix Systems, Inc. (“Citrix”) filed suit against Defendant Workspot, Inc. (“Workspot”) on April 19, 2018. (D.I. 1) Citrix claimed infringement of U.S. Patent Nos. 7, 949, 677 (“the ‘677 patent”), 8, 341, 732 (“the ‘732 patent”), 7, 594, 018 (“the ‘018 patent), and 8, 135, 843 (‘the ‘843 patent). (D.I. 21) Citrix also claimed false advertising and unfair competition under the Lanham Act, the Delaware Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and common law. (Id.) On May 4, 2018, Citrix moved for a preliminary injunction, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(a), to enjoin Workspot from what Citrix contends to be (1) infringement of the asserted patents; and (2) false and misleading statements about Citrix's products. (D.I. 8) On December 12, 2018, the Court held a hearing and denied Citrix's motion. (See D.I. 136; see also 145 (“Tr.”)) This opinion further explains the Court's reasoning for its decision.


         Federal Circuit law provides the standard for granting an application for a preliminary injunction of patent infringement, and Third Circuit law provides the standard for a preliminary injunction of false and misleading statements. See Hybridtech, Inc. v. Abbott Labs, 849 F.2d 1446, 1451 n.12 (Fed. Cir. 1988); Novartis Consumer Health, Inc. v. Johnson & Johnson-Merck Consumer Pharmaceuticals Co., 290 F.3d 578 (3d Cir. 2002). A preliminary injunction is “extraordinary” relief. Titan Tire Corp. v. Case New Holland, Inc., 566 F.3d 1372, 1375 (Fed. Cir. 2009); see also Novartis, 290 F.3d at 586. A “patentee's entitlement to such an injunction is a matter largely within the discretion of the trial court.” Id. A plaintiff seeking a preliminary injunction must establish “[1] that he is likely to succeed on the merits, [2] that he is likely to suffer irreparable harm in the absence of preliminary relief, [3] that the balance of equities tips in his favor, and [4] that an injunction is in the public interest.” Winter v. Natural Res. Def. Council, Inc., 555 U.S. 7, 20 (2008).


         Citrix moves for a preliminary injunction on two grounds. First, Citrix moves to enjoin Workspot from infringing the asserted patents. (D.I. 8) Second, Citrix moves to enjoin Workspot from making what Citrix contends to be false and misleading statements. (Id.)

         For the reasons below, the Court concludes that Citrix has not met its burden on the likelihood of success and irreparable harm prongs. Therefore, the Court will deny Citrix's motion for a preliminary injunction. See Jack Guttman, Inc. v. Kopykake Enterprises, Inc., 302 F.3d 1352, 1356 (Fed. Cir. 2002) (holding that district court may “deny a motion based on a patentee's failure to show any one of the four factors - especially either of the first two - without analyzing the others”).[1]

         A. Likelihood of Success on the Merits

         1. Patent Infringement

         To establish a likelihood of success on the merits of its patent infringement cause of action, Citrix must demonstrate that it will “likely prove” that Workspot infringes at least one claim of an asserted patent, and that the asserted claims “will likely withstand” Workspot's challenges to that claim's validity. See Mylan Institutional LLC v. Aurobindo Pharma Ltd. , 857 F.3d 858, 866 (Fed. Cir. 2017). In other words, a preliminary injunction should not issue if an alleged infringer raises a “substantial question” regarding either infringement or validity, that is, the alleged infringer asserts an infringement or invalidity defense that the patentee has not shown “lacks substantial merit.” AstraZeneca LP v. Apotex, Inc., 633 F.3d 1042, 1050 (Fed. Cir. 2010).

         Workspot asserts that (a) Citrix's infringement theory is not sufficiently complete or coherent (D.I. 62 at 5-11); (b) the asserted patents are invalid (id. at 11-12); and (c) Workspot has a license to use the ‘843 patent (id. at 12-13). The Court concludes that Workspot has raised a substantial question as to Citrix's infringement theory. Therefore, the Court will not address Workspot's invalidity and license defenses.

         a. Infringement

         The parties focus on one representative claim for each of the four asserted patents: claim 15 of the ‘677 patent, claim 20 of the ‘732 patent, claim 1 of the ‘018 patent, and claim 1 of the ‘843 patent. (D.I. 23 at 11-16) Citrix charts the claims against Workspot's cloud-based virtual desktop solution, which includes components such as Workspot Control, Workspot Client, Workspot Connector, and Workspot Agent. (D.I. 1 Exs. 5-8; D.I. 85) The Court will address each representative claim in turn.

         i. Claim 15 of the ...

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