Intellectual Ventures II LLC v. Commerce Bancshares, Inc. et al, 2-13-cv-04160 (MOWD September 29, 2017, Order) (Laughrey, USDJ)
Tuesday, October 3, 2017
Failure to Conduct Some Aspects of Presuit Investigation Alone Does Not Warrant Award of Attorney Fees under § 285
Following an inter partes review that found all asserted claims of the patents-in-suit unpatentable or invalid, the court denied defendant's motion for attorney fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 on the ground that plaintiff failed to conduct an adequate pre-filing investigation. "[Plaintiff] fails to state that it investigated its claims in any fashion before filing suit. . . . [Plaintiff] also does not deny that it never attempted to contact [defendant] before filing suit to confirm whether [defendant] was using the accused devices or systems. These factors suggest that [plaintiff] failed in some aspects of its pre-filing investigation. However, even if the Court were to determine that there was not an adequate pre-suit investigation, [defendant] has not cited -- and the Court is not aware of -- any decision awarding attorney fees solely on the basis of a failure to conduct an adequate pre-filing investigation. . . . [T]he failure to conduct some aspects of a pre-suit investigation alone does not warrant an award of attorney fees under Section 285."