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ATEN International Co. v. Uniclass Technology Co.

Case Where Costs Exceed Possible Recovery May Be Non-Exceptional Under § 285

ATEN International Co. v. Uniclass Technology Co., __ F.3d __, 2019 WL 3558567 (Fed. Cir. Aug. 6, 2019) (MOORE, Wallach, Taranto) (C.D. Cal.: Guilford) (1 of 5 stars)

Fed Cir affirms district court’s determination that case was not exceptional under § 285. The district court did not abuse its discretion in finding non-exceptionality, notwithstanding Uniclass’s argument that ATEN had improperly driven up costs beyond any potential recovery. “There is no per se rule that a case is exceptional if litigation costs exceed the potential damages.” Op. at 4. The opinion also notes that ATEN was seeking injunctive relief, which cannot be readily compared to a damages award.

The district court also did not abuse its discretion when its order on exceptionality did not discuss the alleged frivolousness of ATEN’s damages methodology, and did not otherwise abuse its discretion.

KEYWORDS: ATTORNEY’S FEES; EXCEPTIONALITY; ABUSE OF DISCRETION