Alleged Trade Show Infringement Rant Didn’t Warrant Speech Bar

Written April 10, 2020

The Federal Circuit held on April 3, 2020, that the maker of an eye disorder treatment device was improperly barred from publicly alleging that a competitor’s product infringes its patent. Myco Indus., Inc. v. BlephEx, LLC, Fed. Cir., No. 19-2374, 4/3/20.

BlephEx owns a patent for an electro-mechanical device with a swab to remove debris from the eyelid margin area of someone affected with the eye condition blepharitis. Myco Industries Inc. sells the AB Max, a device used by medical practitioners to treat anterior blepharitis.

Myco alleged that at a trade show the inventor of BlephEx’s device made loud accusations that the AB Max infringes BlephEx’s patent and the lower court granted a preliminary injunction barring BlephEx from making allegations of patent infringement.

The Federal Circuit held that the lower court enjoined BlephEx LLC’s speech without the proper showing that it was made in bad faith.

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