• Dec 19 2019
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  • Category: CAFC Updates

Intellectual Ventures filed a complaint for patent infringement against Trend Micro and others for infringement of claims in U.S. Patent Nos. 5,987,610, 6,073,142, 6,460,050, and 7,506,155 relating to systems and methods for filtering data files (such as email messages) based on their content. The jury found that Symantec did not infringe the asserted claims of the ’050 patent but that Symantec had infringed the asserted claims of the ’142 and ’610 patents. Trend Micro then moved for attorney fees under § 285, requesting that the court declare the case exceptional due to certain circumstances surrounding Intellectual Ventures’s expert’s changed opinion, and the district court granted Trend Micro’s motion concluding that Intellectual Ventures’s conduct was exceptional “solely with respect to this collection of circumstances regarding [its expert’s] changed testimony.” The CAFC holds that a district court has discretion, in an appropriate case, to find a case exceptional based on a single, isolated act. But in all such cases a finding of an exceptional case—not a finding of an exceptional portion of a case—is required to support an award of partial fees. Because the district court did not find that the case overall was exceptional and it is unclear whether the district court applied the proper legal standard, the CAFC vacates the finding of exceptionality under § 285 and remands for an analysis under the proper legal standard.

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