U.S. Supreme Court to Review Attorneys' Fees in Octane Fitness Patent Lawsuit

This press release was provided by Octane Fitness. The Club Industry editorial staff was not involved in the creation of this content.

The United States Supreme Court recently agreed to hear a petition by Octane Fitness, LLC, which is seeking well over $1 million in attorneys’ fees after defeating a patent lawsuit brought by Icon Health & Fitness, Inc.

“This is an incredible opportunity for potentially changing how business is conducted across all industries affected by patent lawsuits,” said Dennis Lee, president and CEO of Octane Fitness. “We look forward to possibly helping curb baseless patent lawsuits in the future, thereby letting companies like ours focus valuable resources on their areas of expertise.”

In October 2012, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit unanimously affirmed a previous ruling by the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota rejecting a claim by Icon Health and Fitness, Inc., that several of Octane Fitness’s elliptical machines infringed upon two of its patents. At this time, Octane was denied attorneys’ fees because the case wasn’t deemed “exceptional” enough to warrant them.

In its petition, Octane argued that this statutory interpretation has become a “rigid and virtually insurmountable test,” which “encourages overly aggressive and unscrupulous patent owners to assert weak patent claims to coerce patent settlements or otherwise gain unfair competitive advantage.”

Octane submits that trial judges should be able to award fees when a patent holder “unreasonably pursues a case having an objectively low likelihood of success” to serve as a deterrent to litigation abuse via groundless lawsuits.

”We founded Octane on proprietary, patented fitness equipment designs, and have built the company on innovation and due diligence to ensure that our intellectual property does not infringe upon other patents,” noted Lee.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear the case, number 12-1184, in February 2014.

Octane Fitness background

Relentlessly fueled to reinvent low-impact cardiovascular exercise, Octane Fitness has perfected the elliptical machine, introduced a new category with the xRide seated elliptical, designed strength-infused cardio with the unique CROSS CiRCUIT and now leads exercise in an entirely new direction with the LateralX. Defined by standout innovations, and driven to deliver more effective, efficient and rewarding workouts, Octane is engineering elliptical domination.

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