• Aug 22 2018
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  • Category: CAFC Updates

This appeal derives from a multitude of patent infringement actions that plaintiffs-appellants Rembrandt filed in the mid-2000s against dozens of cable companies, cable equipment manufacturers, and broadcast networks. The cases were consolidated and after several years of litigation, the district court entered final judgment against Rembrandt as to all claims.   Many of the defendants thereafter filed a motion requesting attorney fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285. Nearly four years after the litigation ended, the district court issued a brief order granting that motion and declaring the case exceptional. The court then granted the bulk of Appellees’ requests for fees, including nearly all of the attorney fees Appellees incurred in the litigation. In total, the court awarded Appellees more than $51 million in fees. Rembrandt appeals both the district court’s exceptional-case determination and its fee award. The CAFC concludes that the district court did not abuse its discretion in deeming this case exceptional, but that the court erred by failing to analyze fully the connection between the fees awarded and Rembrandt’s misconduct. The CAFC thus affirms the district court’s exceptional-case determination, vacates the district court’s fee award, and remands for further proceedings.

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