February 26, 2014 – Supreme Court Series: Octane Fitness v. Icon Health and Fitness


February 26, 2014 | Lecture 4:14-5:45
Room 603 | American University Washington College of Law
4801 Massachusetts Ave NW, Washington DC 20016

Decision: April 29, 2014
Argument: Transcript; Audio

In PIJIP’s ongoing Supreme Court Series, a panel of counsel for amici and parties will discuss the case on the afternoon following oral argument before the Court.  On February 26, the Supreme Court will hear oral argument in two patent cases, Octane Fitness v. ICON Health & Fitness and Highmark Inc. v. Allcare Management Systems, Inc.

In these two cases, the Supreme Court will examine the “exceptional case” standard for awarding attorney’s fees in patent cases, as well as the appropriate appellate standard of review for exceptional-case findings.  These cases are part of a larger debate occurring in both the courts and Congress over the role that “fee-shifting” should play in balancing the incentives between rights holders (including non-practicing entities) and alleged infringers.

Panelists include:

  • Steven Holtshouser, Harness Dickey, Counsel of Record for Petitioner, Octane Fitness, LLC
  • Ryan Morris, Sidley Austin LLP, Counsel for Respondent, ICON Health & Fitness, Inc.
  • Don Dunner, Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP, Counsel of Record for Respondent, Allcare Health Management Systems, Inc.
  • Brian Pandya, Wiley Rein LLP, Counsel of Record for Amici, Blue Cross Blue Shield, in support of Petitioner, Highmark Inc.
  • Moderated by: Prof. Jonas Anderson, American University Washington College of Law

Reception to follow


In Octane Fitness v. ICON Health & Fitness the issue is whether the Federal Circuit’s promulgation of a rigid and exclusive two-part test for determining whether a case is “exceptional” under 35 U.S.C. § 285 improperly appropriates a district court’s discretionary authority to award attorney fees to prevailing accused infringers in contravention of statutory intent and this Court’s precedent, thereby raising the standard for accused infringers (but not patentees) to recoup fees and encouraging patent plaintiffs to bring spurious patent cases to cause competitive harm or coerce unwarranted settlements from defendants.


 Amicus Briefs:

SCOTUSblog Entry: Octane Fitness v. Icon Health and Fitness