United States District Court, S.D. New York
James S. Blank, Esq., NIXON & VANDERHYE, P.C., New York, NY, Jonathon Taylor Reavill, Esq., KAYE SCHOLER LLP, Arlington, VA, Attorneys for Plaintiff.
Joseph S. Presta, Esq., NIXON & VANDERHYE, P.C., James E. Hanft, Esq., KANE KESSLER, P.C., New York, NY, Ronald Scott Safer, Esq., SCHIFF HARDIN LLP, Chicago, IL, Attorneys for Defendant Arachnid, Inc.
ROBERT W. SWEET, District Judge.
Plaintiff TouchTunes Music Corp. ("Touchtunes" or the "Plaintiff") has again moved for attorneys' fees, witness fees, and expenses in defending counterclaims by defendant and counter-claimant Arachnid, Inc. ("Arachnid" or "Defendant") in the amount of $3, 261, 731.13. The motion is granted to the extent of an award of $2, 728, 471.54.
The prior proceedings in this long contested patent action were set forth in the Court's prior opinion of March 24, 2014 (the "March 24 Opinion").
TouchTunes originally sought fees and expenses in the amount of $5, 349, 862 and the March 24 Opinion granted fees and expenses but set certain parameters limiting the TouchTunes application. TouchTunes has since filed affidavits in support of, and Arachnid filed affidavits in opposition to, the fee application and a hearing was held on May 28, 2014, at which time the application was marked fully submitted.
The Rates Are Reasonable
The March 24 Opinion concluded that the hourly rates charged for counsel, experts, paralegals, and support staff were reasonable. (March 24 Op. 42.) Nothing has been presented that alters that conclusion.
The Practice Of Block Billing Warrants A Fee Reduction
The March 24 Opinion noted the desirability of specifying the patents which were the subject of the billing. Arachnid has identified block billing in the amount of $258, 300.08. According to TouchTunes, the amount attributed to the block billing has been reduced in proportion to the other more specific charges for that time period. Predictably, Arachnid has proposed additional percentage reductions.
Without becoming the green-eyeshade accountant referred to in Fox v. Vice , 131 S.Ct. 2205, 2216 (2011), a reduction of 10% of the amount identified by Arachnid will be made to compensate for the block billing problem.
Discovery-Related Billing Is Appropriate
Arachnid has asserted that "discovery-related" tasks not directed to the '780 patent should have been resolved before the respective recoverable time periods began, and therefore, are not recoverable. (See Hanft Decl. ¶ 10.) However, as the Court has found, Arachnid already had sufficient information by the time the recoverable periods began to know that it could not reasonably maintain its infringement allegations. (See, e.g., March 24 Op. 29-30, 33-34, 43.) Arachnid however made continued demands for additional discovery from ...