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Big Baboon, Inc. v. Sap Am., Inc.

United States District Court for the Northern District of California

September 9, 2019, Decided; September 9, 2019, Filed

Case No.17-cv-02082-HSG (EDL)

Opinion

REPORT & RECOMMENDATION REGARDING DEFENDANT SAP AMERICA'S MOTION FOR ATTORNEYS' FEES PURSUANT TO 35 U.S.C. 285

Re: Dkt. No. 89

The court granted Defendants SAP America, Inc.'s ("SAP") and HP Inc.'s ("HP") motion for summary judgment in this patent infringement case. Dkt. No. 86. Thereafter, Defendant SAP filed a motion for attorney fees pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 285, which Judge Gilliam referred to the undersigned judge for a Report and Recommendation.1 This Court held a hearing on July 30, 2019 and invited Defendant to submit a revised, corrected declaration regarding [*2]  its attorneys' fees, which it submitted on August 5, 2019. Dkt. No. 101. For the reasons stated at the hearing, as well as those set forth below, the Court recommends GRANTING IN PART and DENYING IN PART Defendant's motion.

I. Factual and Procedural Background

Plaintiff Big Baboon, Inc. ("Big Baboon") is the owner by assignment of United States Patent No. 6,343,275 (the "'275 Patent"), entitled "Integrated Business-to-Business Web Commerce and Business Automation System." Dkt. No. 37 (First Amended Complaint or "FAC") ¶¶ 2, 19. Defendant SAP is a U.S. corporation involved in the business of selling software and services. Id. ¶ 12. Defendant HP is a U.S. corporation that sells and distributes computers and computer-related hardware and software and provides related services. Id. ¶ 13. Plaintiff alleged direct and willful infringement of the '275 Patent against Defendants for making, using, and selling the SAP R/3 Release 3.0E system and subsequent releases. Id. ¶¶ 10, 28-47.

Plaintiff filed this action against Defendants on April 13, 2017. Dkt. No. 1. On June 23, 2017, Defendants filed a motion for sanctions and motion to dismiss. Dkt. Nos. 19, 20. Defendants sought sanctions against Plaintiff under Fed. R. Civ. P. 11 for filing a complaint that was allegedly [*3]  legally and factually baseless without conducting a "reasonable pre-suit investigation." Dkt. No. 19 at 1, 3. At that time, Defendants sought a determination of whether sanctions under Rule 11 should include dismissal of the action without prejudice, or an order that Plaintiff may not reassert infringement of the '275 Patent against Defendants absent a complaint that complies with Rule 8 and Rule 11. Defendants also requested that the Court enter an order requiring that Plaintiff "and/or its attorneys" pay a monetary penalty to the Court. Id. at 3.

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2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177343 *

BIG BABOON, INC., Plaintiff, v. SAP AMERICA, INC., et al., Defendants.

Subsequent History: Adopted by, Costs and fees proceeding at, Motion granted by, in part, Motion denied by, in part Big Baboon, Inc. v. SAP Am., Inc., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 177345 (N.D. Cal., Oct. 11, 2019)

Prior History: Big Baboon, Inc. v. SAP Am., Inc., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45805 (N.D. Cal., Mar. 20, 2018)

CORE TERMS

attorney's fees, infringement, prior art, recommends, invalidity, Declaration, argues, costs, rates, patent, asserted claim, summary judgment, documentation, records, spent, summary judgment motion, critical date, reexamination, products, lawsuit, motion to dismiss, Defendants', web-enabled, prevailing, sanctions, billing rate, shipments, contends, shipped, partial summary judgment