Cantek and Orbotech both make optical testing equipment for the semiconductor industry. Both are Israeli companies. Since they directly compete, there seems to be a lot of bad blood between them.
Israel Patent Application 179995 to Orbotech was successfully opposed by Camtek, with a ruling cancelling the patent issuing on 20 July 2014. Whilst holding the patent to be void, Ms Bracha rejected a claim by the Opposer that Orbotech had acted inequitably. She gave Camtek three weeks to request costs.
On 31 July 2014 Camtek requested 302,895 Shekels costs (including VAT). The request for costs were supported by an affidavit from Camtek’s IP manager Michael Lev.
The sum includes legal fees of 288,687 Shekels to outside counsel, Adi Levit, 8208 Shekels to the witness Mr Golan, and 6000 Shekels for intermediate costs awarded. All cost requests were supported by documentary evidence such as invoices from outside counsel and salary slips from the witness.
Orbotech, represented by Reuven Borchowski, did not counter the request for costs.
In her ruling, Ms Jacqueline Bracha reviewed the intermediate costs to see whether they were affected by the final decision and came to the conclusion that where she had ruled that the costs were incurred by Opposer unnecessarily, they should not be discounted.
In her final ruling, Ms Bracha accepted the legal and witness costs of 296,895 Shekels.
I have no doubt that Opposing counsel worked hard. Nevertheless, it does seem that the costs awarded are very high. One wonders if Orbotech shouldn’t have made some effort to challenge these. Clearly doing so would have incurred additional costs from their counsel, nevertheless, it does seem likely that this would have been time well spent.