Friday, January 28, 2005

7th Circuit Says Prevailing Defendants in Copyright Cases Presumptively Entitled to Attorneys' Fees

In Woodhaven Homes & Realty, Inc. v. Hotz, No. 03-4158 (7th Cir. Jan. 28, 2004), the 7th Circuit reiterated its recent holding that prevailing defendants in copyright cases are "presumptively entitled (and strongly so) to recover attorney fees." Otherwise, plaintiffs could coerce settlements with impunity even in frivolous cases, and defendants would be discouraged from asserting their rights in court. (Slip op. at 3.) The court suggested, however, that defendants who incur way more in legal fees than the plaintiff demands may have their fee award reduced as a result. (p.4).

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