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Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Symantec Corp.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

March 25, 2019

INTELLECTUAL VENTURES I LLC and INTELLECTUAL VENTURES II LLC, Plaintiffs,
v.
SYMANTEC CORPORATION et al., Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          HONORABLE LEONARD P. STARK UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT.

         In December 2010, Plaintiffs Intellectual Ventures I LLC and Intellectual Ventures II LLC (collectively, "IV") filed this patent infringement action against Symantec Corporation ("Symantec") and against Check Point Software Technologies Ltd., Check Point Software Technologies Inc., McAffee, Inc., Trend Micro Incorporated, and Trend Micro, Inc. (collectively, "Defendants"). (D.I. 1) As against Symantec, IV asserted United States Patent Nos. 5, 987, 610 ("the '610 patent"), 6, 073, 142 ("the '142 patent"), and 6, 460, 050 ("the '050 patent") ("the patents-in-suit"). (Id.) A jury found Symantec infringed claims of the '610 and '142 patents and did not infringe any asserted claim of the '050 patent. (D.I. 676) The Court then granted Symantec's post-trial motion for judgment as a matter of law that the asserted claims of the '142 and '050 patents were invalid as being directed to nonpatentable subject matter and denied Symantec's similar motion as to the asserted claims of the '610 patent. (D.I. 726, 727) On appeal, the Federal Circuit found the asserted claims of all three patents-in-suit to be invalid. See Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Symantec Corp., 838 F.3d 1307 (Fed. Cir. 2016).

         Thereafter, on February 2, 2017, Symantec filed with the Clerk of Court a Bill of Costs, supported by a Declaration of Dean G. Dunlavey. (D.I. 778, 779, 780) IV objected to the Bill of Costs on March 1, 2017. (D.I. 783) The Clerk entered its Taxation of Costs in the amount of $29, 696.50 on June 7, 2018. (D.I. 786) Now pending before the Court is Symantec's Motion for Review of Clerk's Taxation of Costs. (D.I. 787)

         Having reviewed the record, and for the reasons stated below, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT Symantec's motion (D.I. 787) is GRANTED and IV is ordered to pay Symantec's costs in the amount of $276, 463.99.

         As Symantec aptly states: "Resolving IV's claims took over six years, hundreds of thousands of pages of production, dozens of depositions and hearings before this Court, two weeks of trial before a jury, and multiple opinions by this Court and the Federal Circuit. . . . Ultimately, Symantec prevailed on every single claim." (D.I. 787 at 1) In this context, and fully consistent with the legal authority discussed below, it is unsurprising that Symantec incurred the amount of recoverable costs it requests. Accordingly, in the Court's view, it would be improper not to award Symantec the full amount of costs it reasonably incurred and requests.

         1. "Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 54(d) gives courts the discretion to award costs to prevailing parties." Taniguchi v. Kan.Pac. Saipan, Ltd., 566 U.S. 560, 565 (2012). In particular, Rule 54(d)(1) provides: "Unless a federal statute, these rules, or a court order provides otherwise, costs - other than attorney's fees - should be allowed to the prevailing party." Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1). As the Third Circuit has observed, Rule 54(d)(1) "uses the word 'costs' as a term of art, rather than to refer to all expenses a prevailing party may incur in a given action." In re Paoli R.R. YardPCB Litig., 221 F.3d 449, 458 (3d Cir. 2000).

         The categories of costs that are taxable are set out in 28 U.S.C. § 1920, a statute to which the Supreme Court "has accorded a narrow reading." Race Tires Am., Inc. v. Hoosier Racing Tire Corp., 674 F.3d 158, 171 (3d Cir. 2012) (citing Crawford Fitting Co. v. J.T. Gibbons Inc., 482 U.S. 437, 442 (1987)). Section 1920 states, in full:

         A judge or clerk of any court of the United States may tax as costs the following:

(1) Fees of the clerk and marshal;
(2) Fees for printed or electronically recorded transcripts necessarily obtained for use in the case;
(3) Fees and disbursements for printing and witnesses;
(4) Fees for exemplification and the costs of making copies of any materials where the copies are necessarily obtained for use in the case;
(5) Docket fees under section 1923 of this title;
(6) Compensation of court appointed experts, compensation of interpreters, and salaries, fees, expenses, and costs of special interpretation services ...

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