January 13, 2011 - iLOR LLC, a Kentucky-based Internet company, may have lost its patent infringement case against Google Inc. - but at least it doesn't have to pay $660,000 worth of Google's legal fees.
iLOR sued Google, claiming that Google Notebook - an organizer for Web clippings - infringed one claim of its patent on a method for "adding a user selectable function to a hyperlink." A judge in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky had dismissed iLOR's case against Google in 2007, ultimately granting summary judgment and $660,351.93 in attorney fees, expert fees and other expenses to Google in its final order in December 2009.
iLOR appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), and on January 11, the court issued its ruling. Circuit Judge Timothy Dyk wrote that in the absence of misconduct by the plaintiff, courts can still impose sanctions if litigation is brought in bad faith or is baseless. Dyk held that iLOR's proposed definition of one of the claims in the patent at issue "was simply...wrong about claim construction" and "not objectively baseless" - just too broad.
The CAFC reversed the district court's award of legal fees to Google and remanded the case back to that court.