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B.E. Technology, L.L.C. v. Facebook, Inc.

Party May “Prevail” in District Court Based on IPR Cancellation of Adversary’s Claims

B.E. Technology, L.L.C. v. Facebook, Inc., __ F.3d __, 2019 WL 5057470 (Fed. Cir. Oct. 9, 2019) (LOURIE, Plager (concurring), O’Malley) (W.D. Tenn.: McCalla) (2 of 5 stars)

Fed Cir affirms award of $4,424 in costs to Facebook, as prevailing party. That the case was dismissed as moot after the PTAB canceled B.E.’s claims in IPR did not deprive the district of authority to determine that Facebook prevailed. The opinion analyzes Buckhannon, 532 U.S. 598 (2001); CRST, 136 S. Ct. 1642 (2016); and Raniere, 887 F.3d 1298 (Fed. Cir. 2018), and determines that Facebook prevailed because it “obtained the outcome it sought,” Op. at 7, and generally “rebuffed” B.E.’s claim.

Concurrence: Judge Plager additionally notes that had Facebook moved for dismissal for failure to state a claim on which relief could be granted (Rule 12(b)(6)), it would have prevailed, and reasons that the same outcome should apply here.

KEYWORDS: PREVAILING PARTY