The opinion is here, unanimous except Justice Scalia didn’t join three footnotes where the court relied upon legislative history and subsequent interpretations. As predicted, it’s a totality of the circumstances test. My post below pretty much nailed it, and, happily, they quoted Chief Judge Rader’s concurring opinion saying that the text mattered… hopefully the court will do the same thing with 101! Ha.
The key passage:
District courts may determine whether a case is “exceptional” in the case-by-case exercise of their discretion,considering the totality of the circumstances. As in the comparable context of the Copyright Act, “‘[t]here is no precise rule or formula for making these determinations,’but instead equitable discretion should be exercised ‘in light of the considerations we have identified.’” Fogerty v. Fantasy, Inc., 510 U. S. 517, 534 (1994).
The related case, Highmark, held that review is for abuse of discretion, not de novo. None of this is surprising.