Days Inns Worldwide, Inc. v. Lincoln Park Hotels, Inc., No. 06 C 2960, 2007 WL 1455798 (N.D. Ill. May 16, 2007) (Der-Yeghiayan, J.)

Judge Der-Yeghiayan granted in part defendants’ motion for reconsideration of the Court’s award of plaintiff’s attorneys fees’ and costs for preparing summary judgment motions.  Plaintiff owns various marks relating to its Days Inn chain (the "Days Inn Marks").  Plaintiff licensed defendants Lincoln Park Hotels, Inc. and Richard Erlich (collectively "LPH") to use the Days Inn Marks in connection with the operation of a hotel in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.  In 2005, LPH sold the hotel to defendant Gold Coast Investors ("GCI") without informing plaintiff, in violation of the parties’ license agreement.  GCI continued operating the hotel using the Days Inn Marks without licensing the rights to the marks from plaintiff.  As a result, plaintiff brought this suit against defendants alleging that, among other things, GCI infringed plaintiff’s Days Inn Marks and LPH contributorily infringed plaintiff’s Days Inn Marks by selling the hotel to GCI with the knowledge that GCI intended to continue using the Days Inn Marks and without informing plaintiff of the sale or removing the Days Inn Marks from the hotel, as required in the parties’ license agreement.  In February, the Court granted plaintiff’s summary judgment motion on twelve of fifteen counts and dismissed the remaining three counts as moot (you can find discussion of that opinion in the Blog’s archives).  The Court also awarded plaintiff its attorneys’ fees, approximately $150,000, for preparing its summary judgment motion.  Defendants moved the Court to reconsider, arguing that the Court should have required the parties to meet to resolve the attorneys fees dispute pursuant to  Local Rule 54.3 before ruling on the fees and that the Court should specifically apportion the fees between defendants.  The Court held that it was not required to follow the Local Rule 54.3 procedure in this case because defendants did not object to plaintiff’s requests for fees made in its summary judgment briefing and because additional briefing required by the rule would not have benefited the Court because of its intimate knowledge of the case.  The Court did, however, apportion the fees that it was able to identify as only applicable to one group of defendants.  And the Court awarded an additional $35,000 of fees and costs that had not been presented in the initial motion.