Kobe Properties v. Checkpoint Systems (Supreme Court 2014)
Today the Supreme Court issued a GVR decision in this case:
The petition for a writ of certiorari is granted. The judgment is vacated, and the case is remanded to the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit for further consideration in light of Octane Fitness, LLC v. ICON Health & Fitness, Inc., 572 U. S. ___ (2014) and Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Health Management System, Inc., 572 U. S. ___ (2014).
In that case, a jury found the asserted patent infringed, invalid, and unenforceable and the district court judge had awarded $6.6 million in attorney fees to the defendants. On appeal, however, the Federal Circuit reversed based upon a finding that “the requirements of § 285 were not met” because the patentee’s lawsuit was not ‘objectively baseless.’ [See Rantanen, Failing the Objectively Baseless Standard]. In Octane Fitness, however, the Supreme Court recently held that the objectively baseless standard is improper and too strict.
Following the Supreme Court GVR, the fee award is now reinstated. On remand, the panel will likely be asked now to determine whether the district court’s findings were an abuse of discretion – which they likely were not.