The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a district court’s award of attorneys’ fees and expenses to deter serial patent filers’ future “abusive litigation.” Blackbird Tech LLC, DBA Blackbird Technologies v. Health in Motion LLC, DBA Inspire Fitness, Leisure Fitness Equipment LLC, Case No. 18-2393 (Fed. Cir. Dec. 16, 2019) (Wallach, J.).
Blackbird sued Health in Motion and Leisure Fitness (HIM) for infringing a patent directed to exercise equipment that includes a housing with a structural surface defining an arcuate path and multiple pairs of pulleys positioned along the arcuate path. Shortly after filing the case, Blackbird offered to settle for $80,000. HIM rejected the offer, stating that they believed that Blackbird would be ordered to pay their attorneys’ fees, and countered with a settlement offer that included Blackbird paying HIM $120,000. Over the course of the next year, Blackbird continued to negotiate until it eventually offered HIM a license to the patent for zero dollars. HIM declined.