Factors Other Than Attorney Performance Will Not Enhance Attorney Fee Award

Authors: Yieyie Yang, Ph.D.
Editors: Kevin D. Rodkey

In Lumen View Technology LLC v. Findthebest.com, Inc., Nos. 2015-1275, -1325 (Fed. Cir. Jan. 22, 2016), the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s finding that Lumen View’s case was exceptional and awarding attorneys’ fees, but vacated the district court’s enhancement of the fees awarded under 35 U.S.C. § 285.

The Court rejected the district court’s determination to increase the fee award based on an expedited schedule because it fell within the disfavored “results obtained” rationale. The Court also explained that the district court’s use of enhanced attorneys’ fees to deter future conduct was incorrect because “deterrence may be a consideration when determining whether to award attorney fees,” but “it is not an appropriate consideration in determining the amount of a reasonable attorney fee.” Explaining that factors outside the realm of attorney performance are not accepted to justify an enhancement, the Court vacated the district court’s fee award enhancement that was based on an expedited schedule and deterrence of future conduct. The Court then remanded for further consideration of the attorneys’ fee award.

 

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