Videotape Deposition Copies, E-Discovery Expenses, and Interpreter Expenses Discussed.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, in Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., Case No. 11-CV-01846-LHK (N.D. Cal. Sept. 19, 2014, Doc. 3193), ruled on Apple’s request for an award of “routine” costs—although the request was substantial—in the patent infringement litigation against Samsung involving smartphones and tablets. Eventually, Apple prevailed by obtaining a close to $1 billion jury verdict, which was largely sustained by the district judge and has been appealed. After refusing to defer a costs ruling pending appeal and rejecting the argument that Apple did not prevail, District Judge Koh did provide insightful rulings on costs requests by Apple, eventually reducing an amended costs request of $5.887 million down to $1.87 million (hardly “chump” change) for costs items under 28 U.S.C. § 1920(2), (4), (6):
1. Videotaped Deposition and Transcript Costs: N.D. Cal. judges have struggled over whether a successful litigant gets both a videotape depo/one stenographic transcript cost or only one of them. The issue here was Apple’s claim for an expedited additional deposition transcript cost. District Judge Koh decided that the costs of a videotape depo plus one transcript was okay, but nixed cost recovery for an additional expedited transcript.
2. Hearing Transcripts: She granted recovery of one hearing transcript on claims construction and summary judgment motion hearings, but denied recovery on more mundane appearances.
3. Trial Transcripts: She found recovery absolutely proper, even for trial daily transcripts.
4. Copy Costs for “Blowbacks”: District Judge Koh found these were proper as long as Apple could relate the costs to actual discovery against Samsung, denying mere convenience costs for Apple’s counsel.
5. Demonstrative Devices Used At Trial: If used at trial, just fine, but not just to aid counsel in trial preparation.
6. Trial Graphics and Demonstrative Aids: Okay, as long as invoices demonstrated they were truly “trial graphics.”
7. E-Discovery: These were fine as long as they narrowly related to costs to produce documents to the other side, with many internal firm processing expenses not allowed.
8. Shared Interpreters: Apple and Samsung agreed to split shared interpreter expenses, and District Judge Koh did not allow recovery because Apple did not show that the shared agreement was not a settlement on the issue rather than a reserved cost. She did not allow Apple’s costs for a “check” interpreter to make sure that the designated interpreter was getting it right. Costs for deposition interpreters were found to be proper.
Click here to see copy of Judge Koh’s order.