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Trial Lawyer's Notebook:
Preparing for TRO and Preliminary Injunction Hearings

By Tony Zeuli of Merchant & Gould

Tony Zeuli is a trial lawyer specializing in patent and trademark litigation with the IP firm Merchant & Gould. He also has considerable experience before the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Tony has given several presentations and published numerous articles on intellectual property litigation, especially patent claim construction. His articles have also appeared in The Federal Lawyer and Bench & Bar. Prior to joining Merchant & Gould, Tony was a physics engineer at Argonne National Laboratory, where he was involved in the study of nuclear physics. Mr. Zeuli can be reached at 612.371.5208, or by email at, or by visiting his web site at

"Is it all or nothing?" the trial judge asked me at a recent hearing in which my client was requesting a temporary restraining order to stop trademark infringement. "Do I have to shut the defendant down completely or allow it to continue, or is there a middle ground?" he inquired. I have received the same questions, or ones similar, at most TRO and preliminary injunction hearings that I have handled. Thankfully I had discussed this line of questions with my client before the hearing and was prepared with an answer. Whether representing the party seeking a TRO or preliminary in...

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