Friday, July 31, 2015

Newegg wins on "prevailing party" issue at CAFC

The CAFC analyzed "prevailing party" in Pragmatus v. Newegg :

To the extent the district court interprets our precedents
to require a prevailing party to have won a dispute
or benefitted from a substantive court decision, the district
court is incorrect. Such a requirement goes beyond
the Supreme Court’s statements in Buckhannon, which
require only that the party has obtained a “judgment on
the merits,” 532 U.S. at 603, resulting in “a corresponding
alteration in the legal relationship of the parties,” id. at

“The dismissal of a claim with prejudice . . . is a judgment
on the merits under the law of the Federal Circuit.”
Power Mosfet, 378 F.3d at 1416. At least where such a
dismissal is paired with a covenant not to sue, this court
has held that the dismissed party must be regarded as the
prevailing party.
See Highway Equip. Co. v. FECO, Ltd.,
469 F.3d 1027, 1035 (Fed. Cir. 2006) (“[A]s a matter of
patent law, the dismissal with prejudice, based on the
covenant [not to sue] and granted pursuant to the district
court’s discretion under Rule 41(a)(2), has the necessary
judicial imprimatur to constitute a judicially sanctioned
change in the legal relationship of the parties, such that
the district court properly could entertain [a party’s] fee
claim under 35 U.S.C. § 285.”).



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