Company sued by university can continue emailing that it will not hire students

University of Illinois v. Micron Technology, Inc., No. 11-2288 (C.D.Ill, Order dated April 11, 2013)

The University of Illinois sued Micron for patent infringement. Micron sent an email to several professors that read in part:

Because Micron remains a defendant in a patent infringement lawsuit that [the University] filed against Micron in Federal court in Illinois on December 5, 2011, effective immediately, Micron will no longer recruit [University] students for open positions at any of Micron’s world-wide facilities.

The University asked the court for a preliminary injunction barring future harassing communications from Micron to any University employee. The court denied the motion, holding that:

  • the term “harassing” was vague and therefore the requested injunction would violate Rule 65(d)’s requirement that the injunction describe in reasonable detail the acts to be restrained
  • the prior restraint of speech would likely violate Micron’s First Amendment rights
  • the sought after preliminary injunction did not pertain to the injury alleged in the complaint

Though the court sided in favor of Micron on the question of whether to enter an injunction, it questioned the company’s motives. It found Micron’s decision to be “without tact,” and was “very concerned” that Micron was trying to interfere with the litigation. But there was not sufficient evidence for the court to draw such a conclusion.

One thought on “Company sued by university can continue emailing that it will not hire students

  1. Marissa Davidson-Predom

    I think this case is really just a childish immature dispute between Micron and the University of Illinois. If I was a university employee I do think I would be hurt by Micron sending out the harsh email they sent to professors. To say that due to the lawsuit between the two that Micron will then not allow employment to university students is just childish, and not fair to those students. I mean I don’t agree with Micron doing this to the students, however, I do in a way understand why they are doing this. If you are in a lawsuit with someone, why would you want to be accepting and helpful to your opponent? So I do see both sides of the argument. However, within this case I do think the courts were right to agree that the statement wasn’t necessarily harassing. I do believe harassing is more crossing the line rude. Whereas the Micron statement is just more childish in that they don’t want to be civil with the University. Also, I do agree with the courts that it would possibly violate Micron’s first amendment rights concerning prior restraint. I think this case is very tricky in aspects. Yes they are against each other Micron and the University, but I personally think it is more of a battle between the two that shouldn’t have ever reached the court system.

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