Thursday, September 3, 2015

No Reduction of $1.6 Million Fee Award for Alleged Overstaffing

The court partially awarded defendant's requested attorney fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 and rejected plaintiff's argument that defendant over-staffed its case with higher level attorneys. "[Plaintiff] contends that 85% of attorney billings before appeal were attributable to partner-level attorneys, and that high level attorneys engaged in routine tasks such as document review and legal research. . . . This case was also aggressively litigated by [plaintiff], and [defendant] properly employed skilled and experienced attorneys to defend itself against [plaintiff's] claims. Although partner-level attorneys performed some document review and legal research, a substantial majority of the time entries identified by [plaintiff] as purported examples of overstaffing were performed by a partner whose hourly rate was . . . more commensurate with that of an associate than a partner. . . . As further assurance that this matter was neither overstaffed nor unreasonably billed, [defendant's] attorney rates and monthly bills were scrutinized by its patent insurance carrier. . . . [The carrier] has a vested business interest in ensuring it does not pay above-market rates or overspend on patent litigation."

Icon Health & Fitness, Inc. v. Octane Fitness, LLC et al, 0-09-cv-00319 (MND September 1, 2015, Order) (Montgomery, J.)

No comments: