U.S. District Judge Petrese B. Tucker of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania ordered Checkpoint Systems, the losing plaintiff in a patent infringement lawsuit, to pay the two defendants, Sensormatic Electronics Corp. and All-Tag Security, a total of $6.5 million in attorney fees and costs.
This suit concerns a patent for disposable, deactivatable resonance labels for the retail industry.
Checkpoint filed suit in May 2001 against All-Tag and its customer Sensormatic, alleging that All-Tag and Sensormatic infringed its U.S. Patent.
Checkpoint didn't contest the reasonableness of the rates the defense lawyers charged or the time they spent on the case, but rather focused on what tasks the company should be forced to reimburse the defendants.
The company's attorney, Dennis R. Suplee of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis, said only that Checkpoint would appeal the decision.
Tucker ruled that the Checkpoint action was in “bad-faith” and “exceptional.” Attorney fees can be awarded in cases where the lawsuit is deemed in bad faith.
According to a report in the Legal Intelligencer, Tucker had deemed Checkpoint's suit to be exceptional and filed in bad faith in February 2009 in part because the company “did not have its expert compare the patent claims to the defendants' product that allegedly violated that patent.”
Checkpoint was ordered to pay All-Tag's attorney fees and costs of $2.43 million. The award includes about $1.61 million in attorney fees, more than $191,000 in expenses, nearly $634,000 in prejudgment interest and $35.98 a day in post-judgment interest, according to the opinion.