Maryland District Court Denies Attorneys’ Fees Despite Finding Patent Case Exceptional

Monday, July 11, 2016

A recent decision by Judge Catherine Blake serves as a reminder of the importance of documenting fees and costs for later recovery under 35 U.S.C. § 285.  Despite finding declaratory judgment plaintiff Norvartis to be a prevailing party and the case to be “exceptional” within the meaning of Section 285, the Court denied an award of attorneys’ fees because Novartis failed to document the work counsel performed in a manner that would allow the Court to make a fee award calculation.  The Court rejected Novartis’ offer to submit the supporting documents for in camera review, explaining that opposing counsel had the right to challenge the basis for a fee award, and the Court was entitled to the opposing counsel’s views.  Novartis Corp. v. Webvention Holdings LLC, CCB-11-3620, 2016 WL 3162767 (June 7, 2016).