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Technology, Manufacturing & Transportation| Client Successes

Supreme Court Eases Standard for Awarding Legal Fees

Situation

With our counsel, Octane Fitness LLC was granted summary judgment in a patent infringement case filed by a competitor. However, the trial court and the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled the case did not meet the standard of proof required for our client to recoup its legal fees.

Result

The Husch Blackwell team appealed the denial of attorneys’ fees to the U.S. Supreme Court, arguing that the statutory standard was unreasonable. Our team’s briefs were joined by numerous amici, including the U.S. Solicitor General. In reversing the appeals court, the Supreme Court lowered both the standard under 35 U.S.C. § 285 for obtaining a fee award when confronted with weak patent allegations and the burden of proof necessary to meet the new standard. The case garnered significant national media attention and altered the balance of power in patent litigation, including providing a potent weapon against patent trolls. On remand, our team secured a fee/cost award of more than $1.5 million for the client.