United States District Court, D. Minnesota
A. Myers and Niall A. MacLeod, KUTAK ROCK LLP, for plaintiff.
C. Marcus, Joseph Farco, and Robert K. Goethals, LOCKE LORD
LLP, Kevin D. Conneely and Ruth A. Rivard, STINSON LEONARD
STREET LLP, for defendants.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING DEFENDANTS'
MOTION FOR ATTORNEY FEES
R. TUNHEIM CHIEF JUDGE
Cat Inc. brought this patent-infringement action against
Bombardier Recreational Products, Inc. (“BRP”),
alleging that BRP's snowmobile engines infringe several
of Arctic Cat's patents related to engine ignition-timing
systems. BRP prevailed and now moves for an award of attorney
fees. Because this case was not exceptional, the Court will
deny BRP's motion.
patent case involved ignition-timing systems in snowmobile
engines. Arctic Cat filed this patent-infringement action
against BRP, alleging that certain BRP snowmobile engines
(the “Accused Products”) infringed five of Arctic
Cat's patents: U.S. Patent No. 6, 951, 203 (“the
'203 Patent”), U.S. Patent No. 7, 258, 107
(“the '107 Patent”), U.S. Patent No. 6, 237,
566 (“the '566 Patent”), U.S. Patent No. 6,
371, 082 (“the '082 Patent”), and U.S. Patent
No. 6, 550, 450 (“the '450 Patent”)
(collectively “the Patents-in-Suit”). (Compl.
¶¶ 11-16, 18-42, Oct. 19, 2012, Docket No. 1.)
prevailed. The parties settled all disputes related to the
'203 Patent. (Stip. of Dismissal, Jan. 20, 2015, Docket
No. 211; Order, Oct. 16, 2017, Docket No. 435.) The Court
held all asserted claims of the '107 Patent invalid as
indefinite under 35 U.S.C. § 112. Arctic Cat Inc. v.
Bombardier Recreational Prod. Inc. (Arctic Cat
I), No. 12-2692, 2016 WL 6832623, at *17 (D. Minn. Nov.
18, 2016). And the Court granted BRP summary judgment
of noninfringement of all asserted claims of the '566
Patent, the '082 Patent, and the '450 Patent.
Arctic Cat, Inc. v. Bombardier Recreational Prod.
Inc. (Arctic Cat II), No. 12-2692, 2018 WL
654218, at *11 (D. Minn. Jan. 2, 2018). Arctic Cat did
moves for an award of approximately $2.9 million in
“attorney fees, expert witness fees, and
expenses.” (Defs.' Mem. in Supp. at 3, Jan. 17,
2018, Docket No. 440.) Because this case does not stand out
from others with respect to the substantive strength of
Arctic Cat's litigating position or the manner in which
the case was litigated, the Court will deny BRP's motion.
STANDARD OF REVIEW
patent cases, a court may award “reasonable attorney
fees” to the prevailing party when the case is
“exceptional.” 35 U.S.C. § 285. “[A]n
‘exceptional' case is simply one that stands out
from others with respect to the substantive strength of a
party's litigating position (considering both the
governing law and the facts of the case) or the unreasonable
manner in which the case was litigated.” Octane
Fitness, LLC v. ICON Health & Fitness, Inc., 134
S.Ct. 1749, 1756 (2014). The Court has discretion to award
attorney fees on a case-by-case basis, considering the
totality of the circumstances. Id. In assessing the
totality of the circumstances, courts consider
“frivolousness, motivation, objective unreasonableness
(both in the factual and legal components of the case) and
the need in particular circumstances to advance
considerations of compensation and deterrence.”
Id. at 1756 n.6 (quoting Fogerty v. Fantasy,
Inc., 510 U.S. 517, 534 n.19 (1994)).
BRP'S MOTION FOR ATTORNEY FEES
the totality of the circumstances, neither the substantive
strength of Arctic Cat's litigating position nor the
manner in which the case was litigated support finding this
case “exceptional” under § 285.