Gogo prevails over SmartSky in preliminary injunction hearing

Gogo Business Aviation today announced that the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has upheld the decision by the United States District Court for the District of Delaware denying SmartSky Networks’ motion for preliminary injunction against Gogo Business Aviation to keep it from selling its Gogo 5G product.

The Delaware court found that SmartSky failed to establish that it is likely to succeed on the merits of its claims, and that it is likely to suffer irreparable harm if a preliminary injunction is not granted.

The reviewing court,the Federal Circuit, affirmed that decision.

Oakleigh Thorne, Gogo’s CEO, said, “The District Court found that SmartSky failed to establish that it is likely to succeed on the merits of its claims, and we agree.

“We will continue to vigorously defend Gogo against SmartSky’s patent infringement claims.

“We remain steadfast in our belief that we do not infringe upon the patents in question and expect to ultimately prevail.

“We remain focused on successfully launching Gogo 5G and delivering improved performance for our business aviation customers in 2024 and beyond.”

In response to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals decision SmartSky stated: “The appellate decision was based solely on the issue of irreparable harm and did not address any of SmartSky’s patent infringement claims at this preliminary stage of the case.

“A preliminary injunction is an extraordinary measure because it stops a company from using and selling stolen patented technology during the pendency of the case.

“While preliminary injunctions are rarely granted, SmartSky was compelled to seek such extraordinary relief given Gogo’s egregious infringement.

“In July of 2022, SmartSky announced the nationwide availability of its inflight internet network based on ground breaking, patented technology that significantly outperforms any other previous or currently available air-to-ground solution in North America.

“In contrast, since 2008 Gogo has announced plans for at least four upgrades to its 3G-based technology.

“After failing to follow-through on those, it abruptly announced in 2016 that it was changing course, and instead chose to market and sell Gogo 5G, a product that is substantially similar to SmartSky’s air-to-ground network.

“Gogo’s actions are a clear, obvious, and willful infringement, even if the Gogo 5G network is still inactive as noted by the Court of Appeals.

“SmartSky continues to expect it will be fully vindicated in its patent rights claims as the case moves forward and expects to secure a permanent injunction and substantial damages as a result of the trial scheduled for April 2025”.