Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Plaintiff’s Assertion of Patent Known to be Owned by Another Justifies Award of Attorney Fees

Following a jury trial, the court granted defendants' motions for attorney fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 where plaintiff conspired to defraud two entities of ownership of the patents defendants were accused of infringing. "[Plaintiff] contends that this is not an exceptional case because the jury made no findings regarding the existence of a conspiracy or an intent to deceive the [PTO] or [the rightful owner]. . . . [Plaintiff] knew, when it brought this action, that it was not the legal owner of the patent. . . . Despite this knowledge, it asserted that it was the rightful owner of the patent and brought this infringement action. This conduct undoubtedly constitutes bad faith. . . . Bringing this action was nothing more than a perpetuation of the conspiracy. . . . Litigants must be discouraged from bringing an infringement action based upon a patent they know or should have known they do not rightfully own, especially where they defrauded the PTO and the rightful owner of the patent."

Alzheimer's Institute of America, Inc. v. Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, et al, 2-10-cv-06908 (PAED March 30, 2015, Order) (Savage, J.)

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