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Patent Office Quizzed About Attorneys’ Fees Demands

Feb. 9, 2017, 6:09 PM

The Patent and Trademark Office’s power to demand attorneys’ fees from patent applicants that appeal to district court may turn on the meaning of “all expenses” (NantKwest, Inc. v. Lee, Fed. Cir., No. 16-1794, oral arguments 2/9/17).

Judges at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit wrestled on Feb. 9 with conflicting guidance about how to interpret the phrase, which appears in statutes that say that appealing parties must pay “all expenses” related to the district court proceeding.

The case sets up a potential split between the Federal Circuit and the Fourth Circuit on this. In ...

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