Friday, October 2, 2015

Fee Award Recommendation Returned to Magistrate Judge for Additional Findings

Following plaintiffs' objections to the magistrate judge's order recommending that defendants' motion for attorney fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 be partially granted, the district judge returned the motion to the magistrate judge with further instructions. "[The magistrate judge] recommended that the Court grant Defendants a portion of the $1,768,920.88 they sought by their Motion, with the specific amount to be determined after submission of further evidence. . . . Despite the thoroughness of [the magistrate judge's] analysis, the Report does not expressly state a conclusion on three important points. First, are attorney fees warranted here because certain of Plaintiff's litigation conduct is conduct that the Court should be trying to deter? Second, are attorney fees warranted here because Defendants are deserving of compensation? Third, and most importantly, in light of the 'totality of the circumstances,' after giving appropriate weight to all of the pertinent factors, is this case as a whole 'exceptional' under § 285 in light of the specific instances of behavior deemed to be objectively unreasonable or otherwise improper? In this case, the Court would benefit from having [the magistrate judge] address these issues. She handled the vast majority of this litigation. She is in the best position to explain whether (and, if so, how much) Plaintiffs should have to pay Defendants based on two identified missteps over the course of eight-plus years of litigation, in light of the totality of the circumstances of the case as a whole."

Magnetar Technologies Corp, et al v. Six Flags Theme Park Inc., et al, 1-07-cv-00127 (DED September 30, 2015, Order) (Stark, J.)

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