Monday, June 5, 2017

Aggressive Litigation Tactics Creating Needlessly Repetitive, Irrelevant or Frivolous Work Warrants $8 Million Attorney Fees Award

Following a jury verdict of willful infringement, the court granted plaintiff's motion for attorney fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 because defendant's litigation tactics were exceptional. "There can be no doubt from even a cursory review of the record that [defendant] pursued litigation about as aggressively as the court has seen in its judicial experience. . . . [Defendant] maintained its reliance on nineteen invalidity theories to the eve of trial, and then at trial presented only a single defense of anticipation and a single claim of invalidity under § 112. . . . [Defendant] asserted many more defenses through the summary judgment exercise, causing [plaintiff] to expend its resources on responding to such motions, all of which were denied. . . . [T]he court understands the need for flexibility in terms of allowing attorneys to vigorously pursue the best interests of their clients; as a consequence, the court has rarely awarded fees pursuant to § 285. However, [defendant's] litigation strategies in the case at bar created a substantial amount of work for both [plaintiff] and the court, much of which work was needlessly repetitive or irrelevant or frivolous. Of course, the fact that the jury found that [defendant's] infringement was willful is yet another factor to be considered."

SRI International Inc. v. Cisco Systems Inc., 1-13-cv-01534 (DED June 1, 2017, Order) (Robinson, USDJ)

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