Hockeyline, Inc. v. STATS LLC, 1-13-cv-01446 (NYSD April 27, 2017, Order) (McMahon, USDJ)
Monday, May 1, 2017
IPR Request and Post-Institution Fees Not Recoverable as Costs in Related District Court Case
Following inter partes review that invalidated plaintiff's patent, the court denied defendant's motion to tax $23,000 in IPR request and post-institution fees as costs. "Defendant has raised an issue of first impression in this Court. But courts from two other circuits have considered this issue and declined to tax fees paid for the PTAB review . . . . [Defendant] urges the Court to adopt a broad reading of 'the Clerk' . . . because litigation 'shifts to that venue' and the IPR is a 'substitute for the district court proceeding.' The Court disagrees that the litigation 'shifted' to PTAB; PTAB merely determined the validity of [plaintiff's] patent, and this Court remained the adjudicator of the infringement suit. . . . PPG Indus., Inc. v. Celanese Polymer Specialties Co., 840 F.2d 1565, 1569 (Fed. Cir. 1988) is inapposite because the court was speaking only to the awarding of attorney fees [under] 35 U.S.C. § 285 . . . . That does not solve the problem that no statute authorizes a court to tax filing fees paid to the PTO. [Defendant] argues that it would be absurd if 'attorney fees within a substitute forum may be available, but the costs of transferring to that (more efficient) substitute forum are unreachable.' But the purported absurdity would hold for all the other deniable costs under 28 USC § 1920, and [defendant] has not made a case for why the IPR filing fee should be given special consideration."