Cisco has announced that its long-running battle with patent troll Innovatio is over, with the licensing outfit accepting $US2.7 million to settle the case. The deal includes Netgear and Motorola devices. As noted by Cisco's Mark Chandler in this blog post, the settlement amounts to 3.2 cents for each of 85 million WiFi device …
"And if they thought they might be on the hook for the $13M we had to spend, they might have thought twice about the way they approached their licensing scheme."
Wow, imagine having to pick up this bill if you lost a case! Someone might want to ask themselves if their lawyers are milking it a bit.
Honest question - is the loser not ordered to pay costs in US civil cases?
Because to me, it would seem absurd to not order the loser to pay costs.
In the UK, the level of costs to be paid is determined by the judge, and is split according to what's deemed reasonable, and where the fault lies (not always entirely with the losing party), which seems like a pretty sensible way of handling things.
Be aware of the "jeopardy" aspect of damages awards in UK cases.
If you decline an offer to settle and then win the case but get awarded LESS than the original offer then you generally get ordered to pay ALL the costs of both parties. It punishes people who waste the court's time.
I like that. It keeps the settlements reasonable.
Re: Honest question - is the loser not ordered to pay costs in US civil cases?
Nope, usually both sides pay their own freight for lawyers.
Now, the judge can order one side or the other to pay some or all of the legal fees in a case, but that rarely happens. I think it requires proof of egregious misuse of the legal system, which for some odd reason seems impossible to get in an arena where $13 million legal bills are common.
Now, I can see some justification in not always making the loser pay. If you're the little guy and the big guy hires expensive lawyers to shake you down, it could encourage you to settle regardless of where you think you stand because you're afraid you'll just lose in court anyway and then have to additionally pay their lawyers fees.
The problem is, you need judges who are trusted to render impartial decisions, and none of us believe we have those kinds of judges anymore.
I am happy to note I am ignorant in US civil law, but in general, no, the loser is not ordered to pay court costs. That is why so many loony lawsuits clog up the US courts. A risk-management exec buddy of mine regaled us with stories of being told to pay off a woman who claimed that her microwave was making her pregnant - she was up to four or five kids now- (too costly to fight), and the reason for idiot stickers on oven doors "this door is not to be used as a step stool", and on kids' Halloween costumes "this Superman cape and costume does not permit the wearer to fly, and makes no claim or attribution to that effect". Trying to make things idiot-proof in the US just proves that the idiots are numerous and inventive.
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