In Inventor Holdings, LLC v. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., C.A. No. 14-448-GMS (D. Del. May 31, 2016), Judge Gregory M. Sleet considered defendant’s motion for attorneys’ and experts’ fees and costs pursuant to Section 285. The case had been dismissed based on defendant’s Section 101 motion based on the Alice test. The court granted the motion as to attorneys’ fees and costs, but denied it as to experts’ fees and costs.
The Court concluded that plaintiff’s “infringement claims rested on patents whose validity are objectively invalid under current interpretations of [Section 101],” such that “whatever merit [plaintiff’s] claims had at the outset of litigation, by the time of the Alice decision, the business method claims . . . were objectively ineligible under § 101.” Id. at 4-5.
Having found the case to be exceptional based on the above, the Court awarded attorneys’ fees from the time the Alice decision had issued. But the Court declined to award experts’ fees and costs under its inherent authority, finding the award of attorneys’ fees to be “sufficient to achieve the goals envisioned by section 285.” Id. at 7.
Update (7/14/2016): Judge Sleet awarded the defendant $931,903.45. In its Order, the Court rejected plaintiff’s objection to awarding fees related to defendant’s appeal. Inventor Holdings, LLC v. Bed Bath & Beyond Inc., C.A. No. 14-448-GMS (D. Del. July 14, 2016). “[T]he Memorandum and Order awarding attorneys’ fees issued . . . after the Federal Circuit affirmed the court’s judgment dismissing the case. As such, the fee order contemplated the appeal and concluded that, viewing the whole case, attorneys’ fees were warranted.” Id. at 1 n.1. The Court also rejected plaintiff’s objections to time entries that allegedly showed “unproductive, duplicative administrative or unorganized tasks,” finding the hours not excessive or unnecessary. Id.