General Protecht Group, Inc., et al v. Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc., 1-10-cv-01020 (NMD August 3, 2015, Order) (Browning, J.)
Wednesday, August 5, 2015
Fees for “Litigation Database Analysts” Recoverable Under 35 USC § 285
The court denied plaintiffs' motion for attorneys' fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285, but nonetheless addressed the reasonableness of the requested fees, concluding that fees for Litigation Database Analysts were recoverable. "The Court would . . . award attorneys' fees for work done by Litigation Database Analysts. . . . [W]hile technology specialists' duties are not strictly legal in the traditional sense, the Court believes that these technicians provide meaningful value to law firms and, ultimately, clients during litigation. . . . These technology specialists now do some of the specialized work that paralegals used to do. . . . The specialist is improving the quality of work product, and as a sensible approach, the case law should not penalize the practice in the legal community that is becoming more technology-based and efficient. . . . To do otherwise would be to allow the case law to lag behind the introduction of document management products and databases in the twenty-first century. . . . Document management is in great part what law firms do today, and clients expect to pay for that work. It is only fair for courts to follow the legal profession's development of new means of providing high-quality representation and recognize technology specialists' contributions as being legal in nature."