By Erin Geiger Smith
Feb 4 (Reuters) - Qualcomm Inc has been awarded more than
$12.4 million in attorneys' fees from a company whose claims of
patent infringement and stolen trade secrets were thrown out.
U.S. District Judge Anthony Battaglia of San Diego said
Gabriel Technologies Corp, which owns a portfolio of patents,
must pay nearly all attorneys' fees from September 2008 until
September 2012 that Qualcomm incurred in the case.
Cooley represented Qualcomm in the lawsuit, which was
dismissed last August.
Gabriel's claims were entirely baseless and it could not
have expected to succeed on any of them, the judge said in a
written order on Friday.
"Several emails between Gabriel employees and former
employees ... suggest that plaintiffs knew they lacked the
requisite evidence and opted to pursue their claims
nonetheless," Battaglia wrote.
Gabriel Technologies sued Qualcomm, the world's leading
supplier of chips for cellphones, in October 2008 over patents
related to global positioning system tracking devices.
The court initially dismissed many of Gabriel's claims in
September 2009 but allowed the company to file an amended
complaint, according to Friday's order. After the court found in
favor of Qualcomm on all the remaining claims in October,
Qualcomm requested its attorneys' fees, the order said.
A man who answered the phone at Gabriel Technologies in San
Francisco on Monday declined to comment. He would not identify
Qualcomm senior vice president Alex Rogers said in a
statement that the San Diego-based company is pleased with the
In its fee petition, Qualcomm also asked that Gabriel's
local counsel, Wang Hartman Gibbs & Cauley, be forced to
contribute to any fee award. The court ordered Wang Hartman to
pay about $64,000, the amount it billed Gabriel in the case.
That amount "should deter local counsel from filing
documents without performing a reasonable inquiry under the
circumstances," the judge said.
Wang Hartman did not immediately respond to a request for
Qualcomm had also requested attorneys' fees from Hughes
Hubbard & Reed, which served as lead counsel for Gabriel in the
lawsuit, but that request was withdrawn last month. Friday's
order said Qualcomm and Hughes Hubbard settled the dispute for
an undisclosed amount.
Hughes Hubbard did not immediately respond to a request for
In court papers filed in December, the law firm said it had
taken the case only after extensive due diligence and that
Qualcomm prevailed only after "over four years of hotly
The case is Gabriel Technologies Corp v. Qualcomm Inc, U.S.
District Court for the Southern District of California, No.
For Gabriel Technologies: Ronald Abramson of Hughes Hubbard
For Qualcomm: Jeffrey Karr of Cooley.
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