Attys' Fees Test Case Could Chill Valid Patent Claims

By Erin Coe (October 1, 2013, 10:40 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to weigh whether the Federal Circuit is applying too rigid a standard for awarding attorneys' fees in "exceptional" patent cases, and attorneys say that while a decision to relax the test could deter frivolous suits by so-called patent trolls, it also could dissuade some meritorious claims by individual inventors. 

The high court indicated Tuesday that it will review whether the lower court erred when it affirmed that a patent case against Octane Fitness LLC was not "exceptional" enough to warrant a reasonable attorneys' fees award to the company. Octane, which defeated allegations that it had...

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