Search Team

Search by Last Name
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z

Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil, Inc.

Octane Standards Used for Lanham Act Fees Motion

Romag Fasteners, Inc. v. Fossil, Inc., (Fed. Cir. Aug. 9, 2017) (Newman (CIP/DIP), DYK, Hughes) (D. Conn.: Arterton) (3 of 5 stars)

Fed Cir vacates attorney fees determination. The district court erred in not applying the same standard for attorney fee recovery under the Lanham Act as under the Patent Act. The opinion reasons that, applying Second Circuit law, Lanham Act fee recovery would apply the standard of Octane, 134 S. Ct. 1749 (2014).

The district court also erred in its award of fees under § 285 and Octane. The district court clearly erred in finding that Fossil had declined to abandon various invalidity defenses until after trial. The record indicated that Fossil had not pursued such defenses at trial. The district court also erred in determining that another of Fossil’s invalidity defenses “bordered on frivolous.” The record indicated otherwise. The district court also erred in failing to take into account that Romag had previously been sanctioned for its own litigation conduct. The opinion also rejects Romag’s argument that the district court had denied attorney’s fees connected to one of Fossil’s noninfringement defenses based solely on the district court’s previous refusal to grant a Rule 50(a) motion on the subject. The district court’s reasoning was not based solely on the Rule 50(a) denial.

Part-dissent: Judge Newman agrees that the issue of fees under the Lanham Act should be remanded for treatment under Octane. However, she would have affirmed the district court’s § 285 award as within the district court’s discretion.

KEYWORDS: LANHAM ACT; ATTORNEYS FEES; SECTION 285