The District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania awarded attorney fees under § 285, following a trial, where the jury determined that the plaintiff, Alzheimer’s Institute of America (AIA), was not the owner of the patents upon which its infringement action was based.
During the trial, defendants put forth several arguments as to why plaintiff did not own the patent, including a theory that AIA’s principal had conspired to defraud two universities of their ownership rights in the invention. Because the jury did not make specific findings regarding the existence of a conspiracy, AIA argued that the case was not exceptional. Specifically, AIA argued that because defendants had advanced several alternative theories regarding ownership, the jury’s verdict was not necessarily predicated on a finding of a conspiracy.
The court, however, held that the evidence clearly supported the finding that plaintiffs conspired to misrepresent the true inventorship of the patents in an effort to ensure that the universities did not obtain ownership rights. Thus, on both factual and legal grounds, the action was objectively unreasonable, supporting the award of attorney fees under § 285.
Alzheimer’s Institute of America, Inc. v. Avid Radiopharmaceuticals, No. 10-6908 (E.D. Penn. Mar. 30, 2015).