attorney fees : CAFC Alert

CAFC refuses to second guess a district court determination on a motion for attorney fees under 285.

Thomas Brown | April 13, 2017

University of Utah v. Max-Planck-Gesellschaft zur Foerderun der Wissenschaften E.V., et al.

March 23, 2017

Before O’Malley, Reyna and Wallach.  Precedential Opinion by Reyna, joined by O’Malley and Wallach

Summary:

University of Utah (UUtah) sued Max-Planck et al. (Max-Planck) for correction of ownership for several of Max-Planck patents (the Tuschl II patents).  The district court granted Max-Planck’s motion for summary judgment but refused to grant its motion for attorney fees under 285.  The CAFC found that the district court did not abuse its discretion and affirmed the refusal to grant the 285 motion.


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The Supreme Court’s Recent Lowering of the Evidentiary Standard for Awarding Legal Fees in the Octane Case Turns-Up the Heat on Aggressive Patentees

Stephen Parker | April 24, 2015

Oplus Technologies, Ltd. v. Vizio, Inc.

April 10, 2015

Before: Prost, Moore, and O’Malley. Opinion by Moore.

Summary

Despite the district court’s determination that non-practicing-entity-plaintiff Oplus Technologies, Ltd.’s counsel, Niro, Haller & Niro, had engaged in “exceptional” litigation misconduct, the district court determined that attorney fees should not be awarded to defendants.  Upon appeal by defendant Vizio, Inc. of the denial of attorney fees, the Federal Circuit vacated and remanded the decision back to the district court to force the district court to reconsider its decision not to award attorney fees in light of the district court’s own fact findings showing a high extent of harassing, unprofessional and vexatious misconduct of plaintiff’s counsel and in view of the Supreme Court’s subsequent changing of the evidentiary standard for awarding legal fees in the Octane case to a preponderance of the evidence standard from the former clear and convincing evidence standard.


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