Richards Layton & Finger
 

Senior Judge Robinson Denies Motion for Attorneys' Fees

August 30, 2017

In Stephenson v. Game Show Network, LLC, C.A. No. 12-614-SLR (D. Del. July 11, 2017), Judge Robinson denied the defendants’ motion for an exceptional case finding and attorneys’ fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285. Judgment had been entered against the plaintiff after the Patent Trial and Appeal Board found all claims of the asserted patent invalid, a decision affirmed on appeal.

According to Judge Robinson, the defendants’ argument for exceptional case rested on the PTAB’s invalidity findings. But the Court found nothing exceptional in a patentee’s failure to acquiesce in its opponent’s allegations of invalidity. In response to the defendants’ argument that the plaintiff litigated the case aggressively, Judge Robinson further noted that the defendants filed numerous motions throughout the litigation, including to transfer, to stay, and for entry of judgment. In summary, the Court concluded that this case was “modest,” not “exceptional,” and denied the defendants’ motion.

Key Point: An exceptional finding and award of fees continues to be the exception and not the rule in Delaware.