Monday, April 13, 2020

CAFC addresses 285 attorney's fees in Mossberg; no court decision --> no fees

The outcome:

This is an attorney’s fees case involving a voluntary
dismissal without prejudice under Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(i) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Appellee O.F. Mossberg
& Sons, Inc. sued appellants Timney Triggers, LLC and
Timney Manufacturing, Inc. (collectively, Timney) for patent infringement.
Timney pursued invalidation of Mossberg’s patent through post-grant proceedings for over five
years. The district court proceedings were stayed during
this time. Timney ultimately succeeded; the United States
Patent and Trademark Office invalidated Mossberg’s patent for obviousness.
Mossberg then voluntarily dismissed
its suit under Rule 41(a)(1)(A)(i) and Timney applied for attorney’s fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285.
The district court denied Timney’s motion because, without a court decision
with the necessary judicial imprimatur, Timney was not a
prevailing party. We agree and therefore affirm.


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