Monday, October 24, 2016

CAFC vacates award of attorneys fees in Large Audience Display

The CAFC noted in vacating a decision by CD Cal awarding
attorneys fees against Large Audience Display:

the circumstances upon
which a district court relies must actually exist, and
findings that such circumstances do exist must be justified
by the record. Here, many of the “circumstances”
deemed dispositive by the district court, including but not
limited to those noted, supra, either did not occur or were
given undue weight. Thus, we must vacate the trial
court’s finding of exceptionality and award of fees and
costs under § 285. On remand, the district court shall
reconsider whether this case was exceptional. The district
court may properly consider the totality of the circumstances
in making its determination, including
LADS’s use of the Langsam email to oppose Appellees’
motion for attorney’s fees, its opposition to the motion to
transfer venue to the Central District of California, and
the objective reasonableness of LADS’s claims given the
standards and burdens that apply in district court, including
the reasonableness of LADS’s proposed claim constructions.
3 But the district court must assure both that
the circumstances on which it relies are accurate and that
the court affords only the appropriate measure of weight
to each.

Reuters reported on the connection to Spears and Timberlake:

A federal appeals court has vacated a $750,000 attorneys' fee award to performers
Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake after their successful defense of a
patent-infringement lawsuit, saying the award was improperly based in part
on the fact that the plaintiff was a shell corporation headquartered in the
patent-plaintiff-friendly Eastern District of Texas



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