Lumen View Technology LLC v. Findthebest.com, Inc., 1-13-cv-03599 (NYSD May 30, 2014, Order) (Cote, J.)
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
Litigation Strategy to Extract “Nuisance Settlement” Warrants Award of Attorneys’ Fees
The court granted defendant's motion for attorneys’ fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 against an NPE plaintiff because plaintiff's suit had been a "prototypical exceptional case." "No reasonable litigant could have expected success on the merits in [plaintiff's] patent infringement lawsuit against [defendant] because the [patent-in-suit] claimed a bilateral matchmaking process requiring multiple parties . . . while [the accused] feature utilizes the preference data of only one party. . . . And the most basic pre-suit investigation would have revealed this fact. . . . [Plaintiff's] motivation in this litigation was to extract a nuisance settlement from [defendant] on the theory that [defendant] would rather pay an unjustified license fee than bear the costs of the threatened expensive litigation. [Plaintiff] never sought to enjoin [defendant] from the allegedly infringing conduct in its prayer for relief. [Plaintiff's] threats of 'full-scale litigation,' 'protracted discovery,' and a settlement demand escalator should [defendant] file responsive papers, were aimed at convincing [defendant] that a pay-off was the lesser injustice."