Monday, January 5, 2015

Defendant’s Failure To Appeal In Lieu Of Redesign Does Not Justify Attorneys’ Fee Award

The court denied plaintiff's motion for attorneys’ fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 following summary judgment, a damages trial, and an appeal. "It was . . . objectively reasonable for [defendant] to defend the litigation on the grounds that it believed those patents to be invalid, particularly given the crowded field of patents for snowplows and snowplow attachments. Indeed, [defendant's] claims of invalidity with respect to [one patent-in-suit] survived summary judgment and went to trial. . . . The mere fact that [defendant] chose not to appeal the infringement findings with respect to those two patents, electing instead to redesign its assembly, is not enough to render this case 'exceptional.'"

Douglas Dynamics, LLC v. Buyers Products Company, 3-09-cv-00261 (WIWD December 31, 2014, Order) (Conley, J.)

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