Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Plaintiff's Failure to Produce Invalidating Documents Warrants $800,000 Award of Attorneys' Fees and Costs From Date of Misconduct to Judgment

Following summary judgment of invalidity, the court granted defendants' motion for attorneys' fees and costs of over $800,000 due to plaintiff's failure to produce documents showing the patent-in-suit was invalid. The court rejected plaintiff's argument that attorneys' fees should be awarded only for plaintiff's efforts in obtaining the previously withheld documents and instead awarded fees for all litigation activity from the date the documents should have been produced to final judgment. "Plaintiff contends that Defendants should only be awarded fees related to their trip to Utah to conduct discovery, totaling $17,149.00. According to Plaintiff's logic, the only fees incurred as a result of its failure to produce documents fatal to its claim were those related to Defendant's travel to Utah to look for the documents themselves. . . . Plaintiff continues to misunderstand the severity of its misconduct. . . . Throughout the duration of the suit, Plaintiff had in its possession documents which ultimately invalidated the patent it was alleging to be infringed. Plaintiff has yet to produce these documents; Defendants were only able to discover them through a combination of extreme diligence and good fortune. The duration of this lawsuit would have been significantly shorter had Plaintiff turned over the pertinent douments when it was ordered to do so. . . . Plaintiff's misconduct directly caused Defendants to incur hundreds of thousands of dollars in ultimately unnecessary fees."

Atser Research Technologies, Inc. v. Raba-Kistner Consultants Inc., et. al., 5-07-cv-00093 (TXWD August 4, 2011, Order) (Hudspeth, J.)

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