MyMedicalRecords, Inc. v. Jardogs, LLC, 2-13-cv-03560 (CACD April 20, 2015, Order) (Wright, J.)
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Unexceptional Case Under Section 285 May Nonetheless Require Attorney Fee Award Under Court’s Inherent Authority
Following summary judgment of invalidity, the court denied defendants' motion for attorneys' fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285, but sua sponte ordered plaintiff to show cause why sanctions should not be imposed under the court's inherent power. "Notwithstanding the fact the entire case is not exceptional, the Court still finds that attorney fees are warranted for [plaintiff's] behavior under the Court’s inherent sanctioning power. . . . [Plaintiff] had no justification for refusing to stipulate invalidity of the [patent-in-suit] after claim construction. . . . [Plaintiff's] refusal to stipulate or dismiss its claims was in bad faith because it unjustifiably expended the parties’ and Court’s time and resources and delayed judgment. If [plaintiff] wanted to appeal the Court’s claim construction ruling — which is what [it] ultimately did—it could have simply stipulated to invalidity of the [patent]. . . . The Court Orders [plaintiff] to show cause why [it] should not be sanctioned in the form of attorney fees for opposing Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment."