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Judge Robinson denies 285 motion for attorneys’ fees

Judge Sue L. Robinson recently considered Sony Corporation’s motion for attorneys’ fees pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 285.  Apeldyn Corporation v. Sony Corporation, et al., C.A. No. 11-440-SLR (D. Del. Mar. 31, 2016).  Judge Robinson previously granted Sony’s motions for summary judgment of non-infringement due to collateral estoppel and invalidity.  Sony argued that this case was exceptional and that fees were warranted because “plaintiff pursued objectively unreasonable infringement and validity positions, which were barred by collateral estoppel.”  Id. at 4.  Judge Robinson noted, however, that defendants opposed an early motion for summary judgment on collateral estoppel.  Id.  Judge Robinson concluded the case was not exceptional:

The court expended considerable effort in reaching its invalidity determination, including resolving a claim construction dispute for a limitation not construed in the previous litigation. (D. I. 198 at 20) The court is not persuaded that plaintiff was so lacking a good faith belief of validity as to merit awarding exceptional case status under § 285.

Id. at 4-5.


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