Monday, July 13, 2009

Failure to Conduct Pre-Filing Investigation Concerning Ownership of Patent Rights Warrants an Award of Attorneys' Fees

Defendant's motion for attorneys' fees -- following its successful motion to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction -- was granted in part. "As the court noted in its prior Order, [plaintiff] neglected to contact higher management to verify something as basic as the ownership of the patent on which it was going to bring suit. Here, [plaintiff's] assertion that 'counsel saw no reason, and had no duty, to question or further investigate the ownership of the . . . patent' is simply wrong. . . . The court finds that the conduct of [plaintiff] and its counsel was negligent and manifestly unreasonable, which resulted in frivolous litigation."

Visioneer, Inc. v. Keyscan, Inc., 3-08-cv-03967
(CAND July 9, 2009, Memorandum & Order) (Carney, J.)

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