Defense Distributed v. U.S. Dept. of State, No. 15-50759 (5th Cir. 2016)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs filed suit against the State Department, seeking to enjoin enforcement of certain laws governing the export of unclassified technical data relating to prohibited munitions. This case concerns plaintiffs' desire to share all of its 3D printing and CNC milling files online, available without cost to anyone located anywhere in the world, free of regulatory restrictions. The court concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying plaintiffs' preliminary injunction based on their failure to carry their burden of persuasion on two of the three non-merits requirements for preliminary injunctive relief, namely (a) the threatened injury to them outweighs the threatened harm to the State Department, and (b) granting the preliminary injunction will not disserve the public interest. Accordingly, the court affirmed the district court’s denial and declined to reach the question of whether plaintiffs have demonstrated a substantial likelihood of success on the merits.