The district court held the patent-in-suit to be patent ineligible under Section 101. It further found that the case was exceptional under Section 285 because, even under Lumen View’s constructions, there could be no infringement and Lumen View’s motivation for filing suit was to extract a nuisance settlement. Based on the need for deterrence and the fact that the lodestar amount was low, due to the early resolution of the case, the court doubled the lodestar amount of attorney fees it awarded to Findthebest.com.
The Federal Circuit affirmed the finding of exceptional case, declining to find an abuse of discretion, even though Lumen View’s litigation conduct was not quite sanctionable, because its infringement allegations were not well supported. However, the Federal Circuit reversed the doubling of the attorney fees amount, because a “results obtained” rationale is disfavored by Supreme Court precedent and deterrence is not a factor to be considered in determining a reasonable attorney fees under Section 285. The court vacated the attorney fees award and remanded for recalculating a reasonable attorney fee amount, instructing the district court that it may determine whether there may be other issues open for consideration relating to attorney conduct, including Rule 11.
Lumen View Technology, Inc. v. Findthebest.com, Inc., Case Nos. 2015-1275, -1325 (January 22, 2016); Opinion by: Lourie, joined by Moore and Wallach; Appealed From: United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Cote, J. Read the full opinion here.