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IPO Daily News™

Monday, 17 December 2018

17 December 2018

* *FEDERAL CIRCUIT UPHOLDS DENIAL OF ATTORNEY FEES

Spineology, Inc. v. Wright Med. Tech. Inc., 18-1276 — On Friday in an opinion by Judge MOORE, the Federal Circuit upheld a district court denial of Wright’s request for attorney’s fees under Patent Act Section 285. Spineology’s patent claimed an “’expandable reamer’” for use in orthopedic surgery. Wright argued that Spineology’s proposed claim construction and damages theories were meritless.

The Federal Circuit said the lower court did not abuse its discretion in finding the case was not exceptional. Although the district court rejected Spineology’s proposed claim construction, section 285 did not require its position to be correct. With regard to its damages theories, “[a] district court need not, as Wright seems to urge, litigate to resolution every issue mooted by summary judgment to rule on a motion for attorney fees.” The Court “caution[ed] future litigants to tread carefully in their complaints about district courts not doing enough,” noting “that ‘fee awards are not to be used as “a penalty for failure to win a patent infringement suit.”’”
(1 to 4 stars rate impact of opinion on patent & trademark law)

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IP IN THE MASS MEDIA

Federal Judge in Houston Takes on Parties Seeking Extended Deadline in Patent Suit for “Whiny Letters”

Last week the Houston Chronicle reported on an order issued by U.S. District Judge VANESSA GILMORE (S.D. Tex.) denying a motion to extend a deadline in Align Technology’s patent suit against ClearCorrect on devices for straightening teeth. Gilmore chided the parties for their “whiny letters” and cautioned their counsels to “[p]lease stop trying to become my least favorite lawyers. HAPPY HOLIDAYS!”


Law & Advocacy

Friday, February 21, 2014

2014 USPTO BUDGET WILL ALLOW HIRING, SATELLITE OFFICES

During the quarterly meeting of the USPTO’s Patent Public Advisory Committee (PPAC), Chief Financial Officer TONY SCARDINO reported that the 2014 appropriations bill signed in January funds the USPTO at $3.024 billion – $90.8 million above the fiscal 2013 enacted level and $238.3 million above the fiscal 2013 sequestration level. The budget will allow the USPTO to hire 1,000 patent examiners and 63 administrative patent judges and provides funding related to opening satellite offices in San Jose, Denver, and Dallas. Projected 2014 spending is estimated at $2.948 billion. The White House will release its fiscal 2015 budget on March 4.


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