Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Attorneys’ Fee Award Stands Despite Reversal of Willfulness Finding

Following remand from an appeal which reversed the court's willfulness finding the court again granted plaintiff's motion for attorneys’ fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285. "The Court previously found this case exceptional under the now-overruled [Octane Fitness, LLC v. ICON Health & Fitness, Inc., 134 S. Ct. 1749, 1756 (2014)] Federal Circuit approach. That ruling was based on [defendant's] behavior during litigation and the jury’s finding of wilfulness. On appeal, the wilfulness finding was reversed and the case remanded for a determination whether an award of attorneys’ fees was still merited. . . . [A]n award of fees is still appropriate because most of the underlying facts supporting an award of attorneys’ fees have no connection to the now-vacated wilfulness finding. . . . [Defendant] hid its infringement for years, provided false discovery responses, filed summary judgment papers even though it knew its product infringed, argued a never fully explained theory that [plaintiff] did not own the underlying patent, and during and after trial played semantic games regarding what its machines did and what functions were important to it and its customers. . . . In fact, either the substantive strength of many of [defendant's] litigating positions or the 'unreasonable manner in which the case was litigated' make this case stand out from others."

Integrated Technology Corporation v. Rudolph Technologies, Inc., et al, 2-06-cv-02182 (AZD August 8, 2014, Order) (Silver, J.)

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