Elbit Systems Land and C4I Ltd. et al v. Hughes Network Systems LLC et al, 2-15-cv-00037 (TXED April 23, 2018, Order) (Schroeder, USDJ)
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Defendants' Improper Jury Arguments and Discovery Misconduct Justify Award of Attorney Fees
Following a jury verdict of $21 million, the court granted plaintiffs' motion for attorney fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 because defendant's litigation conduct was exceptional. "[T]here cannot be serious doubt that [defendant's] litigation strategies unnecessarily complicated the proceedings and needlessly increased costs. . . . At trial, [defendant] repeatedly argued claim construction positions -- that the Court had rejected -- to the jury, despite the Court’s admonitions not to do so. . . . [Defendant's] conduct was so egregious that the Court gave the jury a limiting instruction. . . . [Defendant] also seemed to purposefully ignore the Court’s orders in discovery. . . . Disclosing a completely unreasonable number of obviousness combinations in your contentions, waiting until opposing counsel objects, then supplementing them three weeks after the deadline with a reservation that you may still rely on the originally disclosed number of combinations serves no purpose other than to increase the litigation costs for both sides and the burden on the Court. It should be noted that none of Defendant's conduct in isolation makes this case exceptional. Considering [defendant's] litigation misconduct in sum, however, the Court finds that this case is exceptional and stands out in comparison to the mine-run of cases."