Offer of judgment providing full recovery mooted case, preventing opinion regarding spoliation

In a decision Tuesday, the Federal Circuit vacated a district court's order denying a declaratory judgment plaintiff attorney fees, but including a scathing description of alleged spoliation by the patentee/DJ defendant. The Federal Circuit held that the district court's decision was an improper advisory opinion, and therefore vacated with instructions to dismiss.The patentee, before bringing […]

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Denial of injunction against sending letters asserting infringement affirmed

In a decision Tuesday, the Federal Circuit affirmed the denial of a preliminary injunction seeking to prevent a patentee from representing to the defendant's customers that the defendant's product potentially infringed the plaintiff's patent. The patent at issue had a lengthy and complicated prosecution history that included an interference proceeding. In that proceeding, the BPAI […]

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Sixth Circuit: Partial fees to copyright defendant affirmed given plaintiff’s litigation tactics

In a decision last week, the Sixth Circuit affirmed an award of partial attorney fees to a defendant in a copyright case. The plaintiff sued multiple defendants, alleging copyright infringement under numerous theories. One such theory was that receipt of royalties from the sale of infringing music rendered a party liable for the underlying infringement. […]

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Patentee cannot recapture claim scope disavowed during prosecution to prove infringement

In a decision Friday, the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court's claim construction and its concomitant grant of summary judgment of noninfringement, as well as its denial of attorney fees under § 285. The district court held the patentee had, during prosecution of the patent at issue, made a clear and unmistakable disavowal of claim […]

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Fifth Circuit affirms injunction against trademark infringement in Saudi Arabia

In a recent decision, the Fifth Circuit affirmed a district court's finding of infringement and disgorgement of profits, but increased the amount of profits awarded because the defendant failed to provide evidence of its costs to reduce the award. Interestingly, the infringement took place entirely outside the United States, namely in Saudi Arabia. Even though […]

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Seventh Circuit: Dismissal with prejudice makes defendant “prevailing party” and eligible for fees

In a decision yesterday, the Seventh Circuit clarified what is required for a party to be considered a "prevailing party" in a copyright case, and therefore be eligible for an award of attorneys' fees under § 505. In this case, the plaintiff asked for a voluntary dismissal without prejudice under Rule 41(a)(2), as the case […]

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Federal Circuit once again affirms that saving patented seeds for replanting is infringement

In a decision yesterday, the Federal Circuit once again affirmed a finding of infringement against a farmer who saved seeds covered by a patent to replant the following year. The plaintiff in this case, Monsanto, has brought similar cases in the past, and they have resulted in similar outcomes.Here, the asserted claims covered the genetic […]

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When market entry fee part of damages for patent infringement, permanent injunction inappropriate

In a recent decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed a finding of infringement of a patent relating to the detection and classification of Hepatitis C Virus, but remanded the case for a determination of anticipation. In arguably the most interesting aspect of the decision, the court vacated the permanent injunction entered against the defendant. The plaintiff […]

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Fifth Circuit: Prevailing defendant in file sharing copyright case not entitled to attorney fees

On Friday, the Fifth Circuit affirmed a district court finding denying an award of attorney's fees to a defendant who had been sued for copyright infringement by several recording companies, as part of the industry's ongoing litigation efforts to curb file sharing. In doing so, the court upheld the notion that, although attorney's fees are […]

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Ninth Circuit: Attorney fees only available for trademark counterfeiting when actual damages sought

In a decision Tuesday, the Ninth Circuit reversed a district court's decision awarding $100,000 in attorney's fees for trademark counterfeiting under 15 U.S.C. § 1117(c). The court reached this decision based on the language of § 1117: While § 1117(b), the provision allowing attorney's fees, states that they shall be awarded when damages are assessed […]

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