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Federal Judge Rules HP Entitled to Legal Fees in Patent Case


SAN FRANCISCO, September 18, 2014 — Covington & Burling client Hewlett-Packard Co. scored a win in its patent litigation case against Linex Technologies on September 15 when a federal judge ruled that HP is entitled to an award of attorneys’ fees.

In May, U.S. District Judge Claudia Wilken in Oakland ruled in favor of HP and other electronics manufacturers, finding that several of Linex’s asserted patent claims related to WiFi-enabled devices are invalid, and that the remaining claims are not infringed by HP. In her ruling earlier this week, Judge Wilken held that given Linex’s previous patent assertions in the Eastern District of Texas and at the U.S. International Trade Commission, the company had “exhibited an ‘overall vexatious litigation strategy’ by continuing to hold these groundless claims over defendants’ heads to increase potential settlement amounts.”

“Because Linex repeatedly attempted to broaden the reach of its patents to capture technology it knew it did not invent, this case is exceptional,” Judge Wilken wrote. “An award of attorneys’ fees on the spread spectrum claims is warranted.”

In June, Covington argued that HP was entitled to attorney’s fees under Octane Fitness LLC v. Icon Health & Fitness Inc., the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling clarifying what constitutes an “exceptional case” under the Patent Act and affirming the district court’s discretion to award attorneys’ fees. Judge Wilken directed the parties to submit an accounting of fees for a later determination.

The California-based Covington team included Robert Haslam, Alan Blankenheimer, Michael Plimack, Laura Muschamp, Gregory Nieberg, and Priscilla Dodson

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