AcryliCon USA, LLC (“AC-USA”) and Silikal GmbH (“Silikal”) have been fighting for years over a trade secret. This is their third trip to our Court. The last time they were before this Court, a panel erased some of the relief awarded to AC-USA after a jury trial. See AcryliCon USA, LLC v. Silikal GmbH, 985 F.3d 1350, 1374–75 (11th Cir. 2021) (AcryliCon II). Specifically, we reversed the district court’s decision denying Silikal’s motion for judgment as a matter of law on AC-USA’s misappropriation of trade secrets claim and vacated the damages awarded to AC-USA on its breach of contract claim. Id. at 1366, 1374. In that opinion, we also concluded that the “permanent” injunction the district court had entered was, in fact, preliminary in nature (not permanent) and that it necessarily dissolved because the district court did not include it in the original final judgment. Id. at 1360 n.25.
We remanded the case to the district court to determine the appropriate amount of attorney’s fees the prevailing party should receive. Id. at 1374. On remand, the district court basically entered the same amount of attorney’s fees it had originally awarded. D.E. 575 at 3. The district court also entered a “permanent” injunction barring the use of the trade secret at issue, concluding that it was obliged to do so by our holding in AcryliCon I. D.E. 575 at 2; D.E. 589 at 2; see AcryliCon USA, LLC v. Silikal GmbH & Co., 692 F. App’x 613, 617 (11th Cir. 2017) (per curiam) (AcryliCon I).
As we see it, the district court misread our holdings, including our unambiguous determination in AcryliCon II that no permanent injunction had been entered because the district court’s original final judgment did not include one. See AcryliCon II, 985 F.3d at 1360 n.25. The district court could not simply “reenter” a permanent injunction against Silikal without first making the appropriate findings pursuant to Rule 65 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Fed. R. Civ. P. 65(d). We also conclude that the district court abused its discretion when it awarded AC-USA nearly its full attorney’s fees even after we reversed, in AcryliCon II, significant portions of the relief AC-USA had been previously awarded.
We vacate and remand for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.
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