June 16, 2016
Bloomberg BNA turned to partner Lee S. Brenner to discuss how the Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons Inc. ruling will raise the stakes in copyright infringement cases.
In Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons Inc., the Supreme Court examined the standard for awarding attorneys’ fees to prevailing parties under Section 505 of the Copyright Act. Moreover, the Court focused on the proper weight district courts should give to the “objective reasonableness” of the losing party’s legal positions during the litigation in determining whether an award of attorneys’ fees to the prevailing party is appropriate.
The Supreme Court held that a finding of reasonableness should not amount to a presumption against awarding fees and that other relevant circumstances should also be considered. It remanded the case to the district court for consideration of all applicable factors. The Court also confirmed that prevailing party attorneys’ fees are equally available to plaintiffs and defendants, based upon the same analysis.