Patent Fee Shifting: Kilopass Technology Inc. v. Sidense Corp.

Posted by on Jan 9, 2014 in Fee Shifting, Litigation, Patent

In a typical litigation, each party in a legal dispute is responsible for paying their own legal fees.  However, there are some instances where a losing party must pay for the legal fees of the prevailing party.  In patent law, this occurs in so called “frivolous” litigation. Until recently, judges would approve fee-shifting in patent cases if one party acted in bad faith.  This is a difficult standard to prove as the prevailing party must prove the intent of the losing party.  Congress has been debating whether to change this standard.  In December of 2013, the House of Representatives passed a bill which would require judges to consider a “reasonably justified” standard.  Thus a losing party would have to pay the legal fees of a prevailing party unless the legal position of the losers was reasonably justified.  This bill has not yet been taken up by the Senate and the Senate has not drafted its own bill on the subject. However current patent litigants may not need to wait for Congressional action.  On December 26, 2013, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit provided an opinion for Kilopass Technology Inc. v. Sidense Corp.  The main issue in this case was whether Sidense’s request for fee shifting was properly...

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Obama Administration Overturns iPhone & iPad Ban in the U.S.

Posted by on Dec 16, 2013 in Litigation, Patent

In June of 2103, the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) had ruled Apple had infringed on a patent held by Samsung.  As a result of that decision, sales and imports of the iPhone 3, 3GS, 4, iPad 3G, and iPad 2 3G were put to a halt.  However, President Obama’s trade representative vetoed the decision.  This is a rare development and highlights the substantial impact patent litigation can have on a business. The ITC determined Apple infringed upon Patent No. 7,706,348 owned by Samsung.  This patent claims an apparatus and method for encoding and decoding a transport format combination indicator in a CDMA mobile communication system.  In more plain English, this patent describes what makes 3G phones work.  Since Samsung was granted the patent for this invention it has the exclusive right to use this technology; anyone else must receive a license from Samsung in order to use it.  Samsung wanted Apple to pay for a license but Apple has not done so and claims it does not infringe the patent. Apple and Samsung have been battling over intellectual property issues in courtrooms throughout the world. Samsung submitted a complaint to the ITC on August 1, 2011.  On September 14, 2012, an administrative law judge issued a final...

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