Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Defendant’s Legal Expenses “Particularly Helpful” in Determining Reasonableness of Plaintiff’s Fee Request

The magistrate judge recommended granting in part plaintiff's motion for attorneys’ fees under 35 U.S.C. §285 following summary judgment, an appeal, and a jury trial, and approved counsel's hourly billing rates of $335-495. "[Plaintiff's attorneys' fees expert] credibly testified that plaintiff's attorneys had obtained excellent results in this case which the Court does not take exception with. . . . In terms of the reasonableness of plaintiff's fee request, the Court finds it particularly helpful to compare that with [defendant's] own legal expenses in terms of hourly rates, the number of hours that were expended, and the overall amounts that were billed. On all three of those fronts, what [defendant] logged and charged in this case exceeded that which was spent by the plaintiff. . . . And given the different purpose that §285 serves as compared with other grounds upon which attorney's fees can be awarded such as Rules 11 or 37, the Equal Access to Justice Act, or other fee provisions within Title 42, the Court declines to use the hourly rates that were arrived at in resolving the discovery-based disputes that arose earlier in this case."

Innovention Toys, LLC v. MGA Entertainment, Inc., et al, 2-07-cv-06510 (LAED February 24, 2014, Order) (Chasez, M.J.)

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