United States District Court, S.D. New York
Decided October 23, 2014.
For Plaintiff: Damian Wasserbauer, Aeton Law Partners LLP, Middletown, CT.
For Defendant: Joseph S. Leventhal, The Leventhal Law Firm, APC, San Diego, CA.
OPINION & ORDER
DENISE COTE, United States District Judge.
Defendant Findthebest.com, Inc. (" FTB" ) seeks an award of attorneys' fees and costs from Lumen View Technology, LLC (" Lumen" ) on the ground that this case is exceptional under 35 U.S.C. § 285 (" Section 285" ). For the following reasons, the defendant is awarded attorneys' fees and costs, as well as an enhancement.
FTB is a corporation that operates a website that matches users with goods or services according to criteria that the users enter, at times using FTB's proprietary " AssistMe" program. Lumen is a patent-holding Non-Practicing Entity that acquires patents and instigates patent infringement lawsuits. Lumen appears to be a shell company that is one of a number of related companies involved in litigating patent infringement suits. This request for fees arises out of a lawsuit brought by Lumen against FTB alleging infringement of United States Patent No. 8,069,073 (" '073 Patent" ).
I. The '073 Patent Litigation
The '073 Patent was issued on November 29, 2011, and is entitled a " System and
Method For Facilitating Bilateral And Multilateral Decision-Making." Essentially, the purported invention disclosed by the '073 Patent is a method of matchmaking whereby one or more parties on each side input attribute preferences and intensity of preference data and then a computer matches the parties on each side by a " closeness-of-fit" process and produces a list.
Lumen became the exclusive licensee of '073 Patent on March 1, 2012, which was approximately a week after Lumen was formed. Lumen filed its complaint (the " Complaint" ) against FTB on May 29, 2013, alleging that FTB infringed the '073 Patent. The Complaint was one of at least twenty substantially similar patent infringement complaints filed by Lumen against various companies in 2012 and 2013.
On September 24, FTB moved for judgment on the pleadings on the ground that the '073 Patent was invalid. The motion was fully submitted on October 18. On November 22, this Court held that the '073 Patent claimed an abstract idea, which was not patentable under the codified Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. § 101. Lumen View Tech. LLC v. Findthebest.com, Inc.,984 F.Supp.2d 189, 2013 WL 6164341, at *16 (S.D.N.Y. 2013). Lumen appealed this decision to the Federal Circuit. The Federal Circuit stayed the case pending the Supreme Court decision in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int'l,134 S.Ct. 2347, 189 ...