All material subject to strictly enforced copyright laws. © 2022 Managing IP is part of the Euromoney Institutional Investor PLC group.

US Supreme Court to reconsider standard for attorneys fees

The US Supreme Court agreed this week to hear two cases that address the standard for deciding whether attorney’s fees should be awarded.

The court has accepted certiorari of Highmark v. Allcare Health Management, and Octane Fitness v. Icon Health and Fitness, which may make it easier to win fees in “exceptional” cases. Both cases stem from patent infringement claims.

In the US, each party is generally responsible for its own legal fees regardless of the outcome of the case, but in “exceptional cases” where one party is found to have abused the court system, they may be ordered to pay their opponent’s costs.

In Highmark v Allcare Health Management, insurance company Highmark is seeking $5 million in costs after it defeated a patent infringement suit by patent licensing business Allcare. The Supreme Court will reconsider the Federal Circuit’s decision to partially reverse a district court decision awarding Highmark the fees.

In Octane Fitness v Icon Health and Fitness, the Federal Circuit ruled that it would use a “rigid and exclusive two-part test” to determine fee-shifting conditions. In hearing the case, the Supreme Court will consider whether the appellate court’s application of the test “improperly appropriates a district court’s discretionary authority to award attorney fees.”

A full list of the latest cases the Supreme Court has decided to accept is available on its website.

More from across our site

In-house and private practice counsel say UK judges have raised the bar for preliminary injunction requests
António Campinos will serve another five years as EPO president – perhaps he’ll calm unrest at the office in that time
LGBTQ IP lawyers say using rainbow colours and posting solidarity messages on social media must be followed by concrete action
Brand owners bemoan counterfeiters’ latest wheeze and say enforcement authorities should get more involved
Counsel at Bayer, Novartis, a generics company and other firms debate what the WTO’s patent waiver will mean in the short and long term
The patent office report found that stakeholders were still divided over subject matter eligibility but broadly wanted clarity
The UKIPO published the results of its consultation on AI and IP today, June 28, and plans to shake up the rules on copyright and data
IP consultancy Brandit is the first European intellectual property firm to announce plans for an augmented-reality presence
Patent owners and implementers weigh in on the PTAB Reform Act – its provisions, what it missed and its likelihood of success
Counsel from Blackbird, Unified Patents, two other companies and a law firm debate what new ways to avoid Fintiv mean for petitioners and patent owners
We use cookies to provide a personalized site experience.
By continuing to use & browse the site you agree to our Privacy Policy.
I agree