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Patricia O'Connell
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Brian Pandya Discusses with Financial Times Two Patent Cases Before The Supreme Court

Financial Times' Policy and Regulatory Report
February 27, 2014

Brian H. Pandya, a partner in Wiley Rein’s Intellectual Property and Litigation Practices, was quoted in Financial Times’ February 26, 2014 Policy and Regulatory Report article about oral arguments heard by The Supreme Court of the United States related to awarding attorneys’ fees in patent infringement cases.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments Wednesday on two different cases (Octane Fitness v. Icon and Highmark v. Allcare) that could make it easier for prevailing parties to be awarded attorneys’ fees in patent cases.   In both cases, defendants won summary judgment and sought attorneys’ fees under Section 285 of the Patent Act, but both requests were ultimately rejected due to the rigid requirements for proving and reviewing exceptional cases.  Mr. Pandya filed amicus briefs on behalf of firm client Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, in support of petitioner Highmark, at both the certiorari and merits stages, urging more deference to district courts in awarding fees.

“By its questions and exchanges with counsel, the Court indicated that it is seeking to curtail patent-assertion entity (PAE) abuses, and that Section 285 [of the U.S. Patent Act] is a way to curb the type of litigation,” Mr. Pandya told Policy and Regulatory Report.  He said that awarding attorneys’ fees in the two cases “is not just a plaintiff-defendant issue, but a way to limit vexatious patent litigation, whether from a plaintiffs’ or defendants’ perspective.”