Supreme Court Corner — Q2 2014: Octane Fitness v Icon Health & Fitness; Limelight Networks v Akamai Techs; and more
By Stan Panikowski, Brian Biggs, Jeremy T Elman and Andrew N Stein
Octane Fitness LLC v Icon Health & Fitness Inc. Patent: Decided: 29 April 2014
Holding: a patent case is ‘exceptional’ under 35 USC § 285 when it ‘stands out from others with respect to the substantive strength of a party’s litigating position or the unreasonable manner in which the case was litigated’.
This decision overturns the Brooks Furniture Mfg v Dutalier Int’l Inc standard, finding instead that awarding fees is a matter of discretion and should be evaluated case by case. The court noted ‘exceptional’ is not defined in § 285 and found exceptional means ‘uncommon’, ‘rare’ or ‘not ordinary’, rejecting the prior two-prong standard as ‘overly rigid’. The Court held a party could satisfy § 285’s ‘exceptional’ requirement by showing an infringement claim is ‘simply one that stands out from others with respect to the substantive strength of a party’s litigating position (both the governing law and the facts of the case) or the unreasonable manner in which the case was litigated’.
This opinion is being widely read as lowering the standard for attorney fee awards. However, in the first opinion applying Octane – Bianco v Globus Medical, Inc, the Eastern District of Texas did not award fees because the defendant did not meet its burden of proof. Interestingly, Federal Circuit judge William C Bryson was sitting by designation and authored the opinion…
Click on the link below to read the rest of the DLA Piper briefing.
Sign in or Register to continue reading this article
It's quick, easy and free!
It takes just 5 minutes to register. Answer a few simple questions and once completed you’ll have instant access.Register now
Why register to The Lawyer
In-depth, expert analysis into the stories behind the headlines from our leading team of journalists.
Identify the major players and business opportunities within a particular region through our series of free, special reports.
Receive your pick of The Lawyer's daily and weekly email newsletters, tailored by practice area, region and job function.
More relevant to you
To continue providing the best analysis, insight and news across the legal market we are collecting some information about who you are, what you do and where you work to improve The Lawyer and make it more relevant to you.
News from DLA Piper
News from The Lawyer
Briefings from DLA Piper
The Australian Taxation Office released a draft ruling on the Goods and Services Tax treatment of bitcoin transactions on 20 August 2014.
DLA Piper’s ‘Life sciences: patent extension strategies and antitrust global update’ video covers global antitrust and competition issues including product hopping and reverse payment patents.
Analysis from The Lawyer
Cross-border work and political tensions are dominating this year’s entries for Finance Team of the Year at The Lawyer Awards.
Regulators are ramping up the pressure in the aftermath of recession, leaving firms to compete for compliance and restructuring work