Statutory Damages & Attorney Fees for Austin Trademark & Copyright Lawyers

The court granted the plaintiff’s request for default judgment in this photo copyright case. The part that is of interest is the amount of the award. The court declined to award the requested statutory maximum of $30,000, finding that prior cases from the Austin courthouse counseled a number closer to the $750 minimum, and awarded $3,500. The court similarly trimmed the award of fees, accepting the number opf hours and costs, but rejecting the plaintiff’s proposed $700 hourly rate based on DC rates, finding that $475 made sense for the Austin area.

The Lawyers From Monday’s Post Are Okay

On Monday I posted on a case in which Judge Lynn denied the parties’ joint motion to stay this case pending the filing of an application for IPR, noting the case was set for trial in six months. Traumatized readers were anxious to know – what happened next? Well, the case actually settled the very next day, but not for the reason you think – it involves the granting of a motion to compel and something interesting about an award of fees and expenses.

Fees Awarded Against Client (But Not Lawyer) in Patent Case

Only a little lower in the stack, but without any apparent connection to UP President Beth Whited’s visit to Marshall last week, was this order by Chief Judge Godbey of the NDTX finding the case “exceptional” and awarding fees under 35 USC § 285, and assessing fees against the plaintiff, but declining to award sanctions under 28 USC § 1927 or the court’s inherent powers, or hold the plaintiff’s counsel jointly and severally liable for the fees. But I did have a nice visit with Judge Godbey’s wife at my seminar Friday in Austin, so there’s that.

Attorneys Fees for Prevailing Defendant in Copyright Case

The prevailing defendant in this copyright case sought an award of fees under 17 U.S.C. § 505.  Judge Gilstrap’s opinion sorted through the claims and the parties’ alleged conduct in the case before finally determining the appropriateness of an award of fees, thus giving parties some guidance on when an award of fees in a copyright case is appropriate.