A blog about patent, copyright and trademark law in the U.S. District Court
for the Southern District of New York

Court Denies Attorneys’ Fees to Prevailing Patent Infringement Defendants

In a July 17, 2015 ruling, Judge P. Kevin Castel declined to award attorneys’ fees to the prevailing defendants in a patent infringement case, finding that the case was not exceptional. Judge Castel noted that his summary judgment ruling in defendants’ favor turned largely on claim construction issues and a determination that one of the patents-in-suit was not entitled to an early priority date, and did not require a detailed examination of the accused products. Thus, the Court reasoned, a more thorough pre-suit investigation by the plaintiff would not have exposed the action as lacking merit. Judge Castel also rejected defendants’ contention that the plaintiff’s lack of expert testimony on the doctrine of equivalents made the case exceptional, writing that the testimony on the plaintiff’s director of product innovation was sufficient.
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