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HIGHMARK INC. v. ALLCARE HEALTH MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS

Docket No.: 12-1163
Certiorari Granted: Oct 1 2013
Argued: February 26, 2014

PartyNames: Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Health Management Systems, Inc.
Petitioner: Highmark Inc.
Respondent: Allcare Health Management Systems, Inc.

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Citation: 687 F.3d 1300
Supreme Court Docket

Highmark Inc.
v.
Allcare Health Management Systems, Inc.
Background:

The Patent Act provides that a "court in exceptional cases may award reasonable attorney fees to the prevailing party." 35 U.S.C. § 285. A case is "exceptional" if it is objectively baseless and brought in bad faith. After living with this case for more than six years, the District Court found that it was objectively baseless and brought in bad faith, and it awarded fees. Over a strong dissent, a Federal Circuit panel reversed, holding that a district court's objective baselessness determination is reviewed "without deference." Pet. App. 9a. The Federal Circuit denied rehearing en banc by a vote of six to five. One of the two pointed dissents from that denial accurately observed that the decision below "deviates from precedent * * * and establishes a review standard for exceptional case findings in patent cases that is squarely at odds with the highly deferential review adopted by every regional circuit and the Supreme Court in other areas of law." Pet. App. 191a.

Question Presented:

Whether a district court's exceptional-case finding under 35 U.S.C. § 285, based on its judgment that a suit is objectively baseless, is entitled to deference.

HIGHMARK INC. v. ALLCARE HEALTH MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS
ORAL ARGUMENT

February 26, 2014

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