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Judge Grants Attorney Fees in ‘Exceptional’ Copyright Action

January 19, 2022 | Posted in : Exceptional Case, Expenses / Costs, Fee Award, Fee Entitlement / Recoverability, Fees & Judicial Discretion, Hourly Rates, Practice Area: IP Litigation

 recent Law 360 story by Katryna Perera, “MoFo Attys Score Fees in Delta-8 Vape Maker Copyright Suit,” reports that a California federal judge has granted Morrison & Foerster LLP attorneys more than $92,000 in fees for scoring a default judgment win last year on behalf of Delta-8 vape maker AK Futures LLC, which sued a competing smoking products distributor for alleged copyright infringement.

In his order, U.S. District Judge James V. Selna granted AK Futures' complete request for $92,656 to be awarded to five attorneys and one paralegal from the law firm.  Judge Selna said the case was "exceptional" and "warranted the award of reasonable attorney's fees and costs."  He added that the billing rates charged by the attorneys and number of hours worked were reasonable.  The award comes after the firm secured a $150,000 default win for AK Futures in November 2020.

In granting default judgment, Judge Selna said AK Futures had expended effort and racked up costs in prosecuting the action, and that since AK Futures owns a valid, registered copyright on the disputed logo, its allegations of copyright infringement are sufficient to state a claim.  Judge Selna also granted the win after the defendant Smoke Tokes LLC continually failed to show up or participate in the case.

In a statement to Law360, counsel for AK Futures said it was pleased with the court's decision.  "We are pleased the court awarded our client its attorneys' fees and costs against Smoke Tokes LLC, as part of the court's judgment against this defendant, which also included enhanced statutory damages and a permanent injunction," said Thomas C. Frost of The Frost Firm.