Kyle Hoellger
May 1, 2014

Supreme Court Rulings on Attorneys' Fees

The US Supreme Court issued two rulings on Tuesday that will make it easier for trial judges to force plaintiffs to pay the other side's legal fees when they bring questionable lawsuits.

  • The first decision related to a patent infringement suit between Icon Health & Fitness Inc and Octane Fitness LLC. In 2011 a trial court dismissed Icon's case in its early stages but did not grant Octane's request for attorneys' fees. In a unanimous opinion the justices said the court had been too restrictive with its original ruling and the case will head back to a lower court where it will be determined whether or not Icon has to pay Octane's attorneys' fees.
  • In a second ruling related to a dispute between two healthcare companies the court ruled that trial judges should have fairly broad discretion to decide whether or not to award attorneys' fees.
In 9-0 vote, Supreme Court makes it easier to get fees in patent cases | Ars Technica
Top patent court almost never makes bad actors pay. Supremes see it differently.