Ken Parker in the Daily Journal: Supreme Court to Address Legal Fee Awards in Patent Cases


Following several months of discussion from the Obama administration and Congress on how to discourage questionable patent infringement lawsuits, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear two petitions Wednesday asking the justices to take direct action.

The high court will hear oral arguments from two separate companies that failed to win  attorneys fees despite warding off infringement claims pursued by different patent holders...

Silicon Valley technology giants are closely following developments with Section 285, generally advocating that lowering the threshold for defendants to win fees would deter patent holding companies from filing lawsuits with the primary aim of collecting nuisance settlements. Apple Inc., Google Inc. and Yahoo Inc. are among the companies that have filed separate briefs to the high court.

Observers who are not involved in either case believe the justices agreed to review both petitions with an eye toward instituting some changes to determining defendant fee awards.

"The Supreme Court is going to establish a test to let the district courts do their job, because they are in the best position to know whether a plaintiff has acted badly or has pushed a frivolous case or both," said Kenneth G. Parker, a Haynes and Boone, LLP patent litigation partner who splits his time between Irvine and Palo Alto.

Excerpted from Law360, February 27, 2014. To view full article, click here (subscription required).

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