In 2013, Columbia sued Norton and accused the company of infringing 167 claims over six patents. Although the May award went Columbia’s way, it has since asked for additional attorneys’ fees.
The security company has countered this [PDF] by saying that the “purpose of an award of attorneys’ fees under the Patent Act is to compensate a prevailing party that was forced to litigate a case that was ‘exceptional,’ either because the party’s case was remarkably weak or baseless, or because the other party engaged in vexatious litigation misconduct. Neither applies here.”
It went on to explain that “Norton defeated 90 percent of those claims, leaving Columbia with only 18 claims in two patents.”
The two patents at issue are 8,601,322 and 8,074,115, which are related to the detection of malware. The New York university filed its patent application for the latter on October 25, 2006, and the former on November 21, 2011. Both applications were granted in 2011 and 2013 respectively.
Norton’s take was that it launched the SONAR/BASH feature in 2009, before the patents were granted. “Norton could not have copied Columbia’s asserted patents,” it said, “because it launched SONAR/BASH in 2009 before either patent existed.”
At trial, Columbia presented four claims of two patents and pretty much won the day; the jury rejected its concealment claim but concluded that Norton had willfully infringed.
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