Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Management Systems

Case Details

Status: Decided
Docket No: 12-1163
U.S. Chamber Litigation Center Involvement: None
Solicitor General Involvement: Petitioner
Sub-Issue: Patents

Related Information

Term: 2013 Term
Oral Argument Date: February 26, 2014
Vote: 9-0
Opinion: Sotomayor
Lower Court: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Question(s) Presented

Whether a district court’s exceptional-case finding under 35 U.S.C. § 285 (which permits the court to award attorney’s fees in exceptional cases), based on its judgment that a suit is objectively baseless, is entitled to deference.

Case Outcome

The Supreme Court clarified that the Federal Circuit must review a district court’s award of attorney’s fees only under the deferential standard of “abuse of discretion.” This holding reverses the Federal Circuit’s prior rule, under which it closely scrutinized fee awards.

Procedural History

Cert. granted 10/1/13. Argued 2/26/2014. Decided 4//29/2014.

Case Documents