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Patent Office Barred From Recovering Witness Fees in Litigation

Aug. 18, 2021, 3:00 PM

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office can’t recoup expert witness fees incurred in lawsuits filed by disgruntled patent applicants, the Federal Circuit ruled.

The patent office sought to recover over half a million dollars it spent on expert witnesses to defend its rejection of four patent applications filed by prolific applicant Gilbert Hyatt. The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia handed Hyatt a partial win and awarded some of his request for attorneys’ fees as the prevailing party. It also denied the agency’s request for witness fees.

In June, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ...

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