HOUSTON – A Texas appeals court cut more than $1.6 million dollars from attorney's fees awarded to an energy newsletter publisher who accused an advising firm of distributing the newsletter without permission.
U.S. District Court Judge Simeon Lake of the Houston Division of the Southern District Court of Texas ruled Aug. 1 that Energy Intelligence Group Inc. (EIG), was not privy to the nearly $2 million dollars in attorney fees as part of a prior settlement with Kayne Anderson Capital Advisors.
The ruling stems from a motion made by the defendants to recoup some of their attorney costs and amend the amount of attorney fees paid out after an offer of judgment had been reached.
“The court concludes that plaintiffs are not entitled to recover costs or attorney's fees incurred after defendants' Feb. 21, 2017, offer of judgment,” the Aug. 1 order states.
The order reduces the final number of attorney fees for EIG to $2.5 million from $4.2 million. The amount of costs granted to the firm was also reduced $42,000.
The motion stems from a four-day copyright infringement trial.
According to the ruling, EIG filed a complaint against Kayne on July 8, 2014, alleging the firm had been distributing unauthorized copies of its monthly magazine Oil Daily for several years.
“From at least 2004 to 2013, Kayne purchased a single annual subscription to Oil Daily for Kayne employee, Jim Baker. That subscription was routinely forwarded to Kayne employees and others who were not subscribers,” the ruling stated.
After being notified of its infringement, Kayne entered into a multi-user agreement and began paying for five copies of Oil Daily, but continued distributing it throughout the company as well.
At the conclusion of the trial, the jury found that Kayne infringed 1,646 individual Oil Daily works between Dec. 29, 2004, and July 8, 2014, and awarded $15,000 in statutory damages for each work.
The jury also found that Kayne had intentionally removed or altered copyright management information for Oil Daily a total of 425 times.