Justice Is Served: Patent Troll Ordered To Pay Case Fees In Landmark Ruling
Ryan Martin / 2 years ago
Patent trolling is something that we’ve become only too familiar with in the technology industry. Typically it ends with a patent troll securing victory and lots of undeserved legal revenue, or with the patent troll losing the case and the victim being left to pick up the legal fees. However, in a landmark case this has all changed. FindTheBest (FTB), a startup technology company, were sued by a patent troll called “Lumen View” last year. The FTB CEO vowed to fight back and pledged $1 million of his own money to fight the legal battle for his coming. The short summary of what happened next is that FTB demolished Lumen View in the courts, invalidated their apparent patent claims and then were subject to a landmark fee-shifting ruling. The legal battle cost FTB $200,000 and lost work hours of many top executives in the court case. As a result of that the legal case has turned out to be quite expensive for FTB.
As part of the fee-shifting ruling the judge ruled that Lumen View, not FTB, should have to pay all legal expenses for the case as they described the case as a “prototypical exceptional case”. The U.S District Judge over the case, Denise Cote, gave a damning verdict that:
“Lumen’s motivation in this litigation was to extract a nuisance settlement from FTB on the theory that FTB would rather pay an unjustified license fee than bear the costs of the threatened expensive litigation,” Cote stated in the order she issued on Friday May 30th. “Lumen’s threats of ‘full-scale litigation,’ ‘protracted discovery,’ and a settlement demand escalator should FTB file responsive papers, were aimed at convincing FTB that a pay-off was the lesser injustice.”
To clean up Lumen View even more the judge went on to say that:
“Lumen’s instigation of baseless litigation is not isolated to this instance, but is instead part of a predatory strategy aimed at reaping financial advantage from the inability or unwillingness of defendants to engage in litigation against even frivolous patent lawsuits.”
Lumen View had tried to issue a gag order against FTB early on but the motion was denied by the courts. The amount expected to be paid by Lumen View has not yet been determined but will be calculated based on the expenses incurred by FTB.
Image courtesy of FindTheBest