Sport Dimension, Inc. v. The Coleman Company, Inc., 2-14-cv-00438 (CACD June 4, 2015, Order) (O'Connell, J.)
Monday, June 8, 2015
Patent Owner's Failure to Consult Inventor Prior to Asserting Infringement No Basis for Attorney Fee Award
The court denied plaintiff's motion for attorneys' fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 and rejected plaintiff's argument that defendant's infringement claim was baseless because it failed to contact the inventor before filing suit. "[Plaintiff's] argument on this basis relies in large part on [defendant's] failure to contact and interview . . . the inventor of the [patent-in-suit] until after it had threatened [plaintiff] with litigation. . . . [The inventor] ultimately rendered an opinion that [plaintiff's] product did not infringe on [defendant's] patent. . . . [The inventor's] interpretation of the [patent] is undoubtedly entitled to weight, but [he] is not a patent attorney or even an attorney. . . . [Plaintiff] does not cite any authority demonstrating that [defendant] was required to solicit the interpretation of the patent's inventor before initiating a patent infringement claim, nor is this Court willing to impose such a stringent requirement on patent holders."