T-Peg, Inc. v. Vermont Timber Works, Inc., 669 F.3d 59 (1st Cir. 2012)
After a jury rejected Plaintiff’s copyright infringement claims related to architectural plans, the district court awarded attorneys’ fees in the amount of $35,000 to Defendant. Both parties appealed. Plaintiff argued that the award was too high, and the district court erred in considering the factor of deterring certain trial strategies. Defendant argued that the award was too low, and the district court should have used the lodestar method, rather than awarding a reduced fee. The First Circuit rejected both arguments and affirmed the district court. With respect to Plaintiff’s argument, the Circuit held that the district court properly considered the issue of deterring bad behavior both in and out of court. With respect to Defendant’s argument, the Circuit held that the lodestar method of calculating fees was not mandatory—the district court just had to provide an adequate explanation for its award, which the court did.
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