October 2013 Bonus Case Summaries: California: Costs Interpreted Narrowly in Tech Dispute

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Ancora Tech., Inc. v. Apple, Inc., 2013 WL 4532927 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 26, 2013).   In this patent law case, the plaintiff moved to review the bill of costs previously awarded to the defendant. The court weighed the costs under 28 U.S.C. § 1920, which lists several enumerated costs that may be awarded under FRCP 54(d). The standard of review was whether the conduct could be construed as making copies or exemplification. The court ruled that costs associated with TIFF and OCR conversion, printing documents, and deposition transcripts are reasonably within the enumerated categories of § 1920 costs. However, the court was very narrow in its interpretation: costs associated with the storage of electronic documents and visual aids were not permissible. The court further discussed that costs requested to be covered must be fully defined; therefore, costs labeled with ambiguous terms were not recoverable. The court lowered the costs of the case accordingly.


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