(credit: John K)

The nation’s top patent court has given its seal of approval to a hefty $1.4 million award of legal fees against the largest publicly traded “non-practicing entity,” Acacia Research Corporation.
The award was granted one year ago by US District Judge Gregory Sleet, and it was one of the first to be decided under the new Octane Fitness caselaw, which makes it easier for defendants to get their legal fees in baseless patent suits. On Friday, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld (PDF) Sleet’s decision without further comment.
The case was brought in 2010 by an Acacia subsidiary called Summit Data Systems LLC, created to assert two patents against the server storage industry. The case hinged on an accusation that NetApp infringed a pair of patents when its server-based software interacted with an end user on a Microsoft operating system. The two patents-in-suit, 7,392,291 and 7,428,581, relate to “block-level storage access over a computer network.”
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