Thursday, July 07, 2011

First Circuit: Attorneys Fees and Costs May Far Exceed Damages In Copyright Infringement Cases

In Spooner v. EEN, Inc., 2011 WL 261178 (1st Cir. July 5, 2011), the First Circuit court of appeals considered a case where statutory damages were greatly outweighed by the attorneys fees awarded by the district court. The decision, helpful to any attorney hoping to get a sizeable fee award, is embedded below.

My book Copyright Litigation Handbook has an entire Chapter 18 titled Costs and Attorneys fees.  In Spooner, the First Circuit clarified that attorneys fees may be awarded "as costs".   So the appellate court does not have jurisdiction unless ALL costs have been fixed below, since it is then not a final judgment.  The Spooner court let the parties remedy the jurisdictional defect.

The various circuit courts of appeal take different approaches in awarding fees and costs. A knowledge of the case law is important to ensure that an application for attorneys fees and costs will be successful.

Spooner v EEN Inc
 Purchase Copyright Litigation Handbook 2010 by Raymond J. Dowd from West here  

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