In Lumen View Tech. LLC v. FindTheBest.com, Inc., Appeal Nos. 2015-1275, -1325, the Federal Circuit considered a district court’s award of attorney’s fees for an exceptional case under Octane Fitness and remanded for further consideration.
Lumen View sued FindTheBest.com for patent infringement. The district court found that, even under Lumen View’s proposed claim constructions, FindTheBest.com was not liable for infringement. The court further found that the non-infringement was so plain that “the most basic” pre-suit investigation would have avoided litigation. The district court determined that Lumen View’s litigation was part of a “predatory strategy” to extract money through a nuisance-value settlement. The district court also granted FindTheBest.com’s motion for judgment on the pleadings that the patent claims were invalid under § 101. The district court also found that FindTheBest.com was entitled to reasonable attorney’s fees under Octane Fitness and doubled the award to serve as a deterrent. Lumen View appealed.
The Federal Circuit upheld the determination that the case was exceptional. Regarding the quantity of fees awarded, the Federal Circuit analyzed the district court’s calculation under the “lodestar method,” which calculates a presumptively reasonable fee amount by multiplying a reasonable hourly rate by a reasonable number of hours required to litigate a comparable case. While the Federal Circuit noted that the “lodestar method” does allow for enhancement of attorney fees in “rare or exceptional” cases, deterrence is not an appropriate consideration for enhancing attorney fees. Accordingly, the Federal Circuit remanded the amount of attorney’s fees awarded for further consideration.