Some cases cry out for a champagne celebration. A patent license arbitration decision awarding a defendant more than $1.2 million in attorney fees is one.
“An award of attorney fees is rare—and rarer still that attorney fees are awarded to a defendant in an arbitration at such a high level,” says Michael Hilton, a principal with Harness, Dickey, &Pierce PLC in Troy.
“This is in the highest strata of such awards, possibly one of the largest arbitration awards for attorney fees in the nation,” adds Bob Lenihan, another Harness, Dickey principal.
The case—that wrapped up in mid-February after almost nine years—involved re-usable, collapsible shipping containers with textile “dunnage” that erects to protect the components during shipping. The container and dunnage are collapsible so they can be economically returned and reused. Such collapsible, reusable containers were first used to ship automobile components, as an important part of reducing costs with Just-In-Time sequenced manufacturing.
By Sheila Pursglove