Case: Monolithic Power Sys., Inc. v. O2 Micro Int’l Ltd., No. 2012-1221 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 13, 2013) (precedential). On appeal from N.D. Cal. Before Prost, Mayer, and Reyna.

Procedural Posture: Defendant patent owner appeals from the district court’s finding that the case was exceptional under 35 U.S.C. § 285 and the district court’s award of attorney fees and costs to plaintiffs. CAFC affirmed.

  • Exceptional Case: A finding of litigation misconduct and unprofessional behavior is sufficient to support a finding of exceptional case. A finding of litigation misconduct does not require an additional finding of both “bad faith” and “objectively baseless litigation.” The CAFC found ample evidence of vexatious litigation tactics as well as misrepresentations regarding the conception date of the invention. While an attorney fee award “must bear some relation to the extent of the misconduct,” here the CAFC agreed that the misconduct was so pervasive as to warrant a full award of attorney fees, including fees for discovery taken in a parallel ITC investigation, which discovery was used in the district court.