Dish, Sirius Get Chance at Attorneys’ Fees in Mooted Case

Written April 29, 2020

The Federal Circuit on April 21, 2020, vacated and remanded a district court ruling that denied Dish Network LLC and Sirius XM Radio Inc.’s motion for attorneys’ fees in a patent case. Dragon Intellectual Prop. LLC v. Dish Network LLC, Fed. Cir., No. 19-1283, 4/21/20.

Dragon Intellectual Property LLC sued Dish and Sirius for infringing its patent covering an audiovisual recording and playback device equipped with a keyboard. The court entered a judgment for Dish and Sirius, while separately the PTAB held the relevant parts of the patent invalid. The district court vacated its noninfringement judgment as moot based on the PTAB decision. It also denied Dish and Sirius’ request for attorneys’ fees, finding they weren’t prevailing parties because they hadn’t won relief on the merits at the court. But “a defendant can be deemed a prevailing party even if the case is dismissed on procedural grounds rather than on the merits,” the Federal Circuit said.