Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Plaintiff’s Lack of Standing Warrants Award of Attorney Fees Under Section 285

The court granted defendants' motion for attorney fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 after a non-practicing entity plaintiff's infringement claims were dismissed for lack of standing. "Although [patent assertion entities] rarely win the lawsuits they bring, that is because they rarely litigate them to judgment. The threat of costly and disruptive litigation is their strongest tool, and it is a potent threat. . . . Exploiting the patent-in-suit in these cases . . . was [plaintiff's] sole reason for being. The only precondition to Plaintiff's fulfilling its singular purpose was its acquisition of title to the [patent-in-suit]. Obtaining ownership of the patent was . . . the only thing Plaintiff absolutely had to accomplish in order to fulfill its destiny. At this simple task it proved an abysmal failure. . . . I have never before had a case on my docket in which the purported owner of the patent-in-suit did not in fact own the patent -- that alone makes this case 'exceptional,' for I have no basis on which to believe that suing on a patent one does not own falls within the bounds of normal litigation behavior. . . . Bluffing is what [plaintiff] did: it bluffed by confidently asserting that it owned the patent, knowing that no one was likely to call its bluff and force it to prove what it knew it could not really prove. That cannot be equated with having an objectively reasonable belief that there was no defect in [plaintiff's] title to the [patent-in-suit]."

Advanced Video Technologies LLC v. HTC Corporation et al, 1-11-cv-06604 (NYSD August 28, 2015, Order) (McMahon, J.)

No comments: