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Awarded Costs Constrained By Federal Rules And Regional Circuit Law

February 9, 2006

In Summit Technology, Inc. v. Nidek Co., Ltd. (No. 05-1292; January 26, 2006), a Federal Circuit panel modifies the district court's award of costs, remanding the case to the lower court for entry of the modified award. At issue are the constraints of § 1920 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure dealing with taxation of specified costs, as applied under First Circuit law. The panel determines that video animations are not “exemplifications” as provided in 28 U.S.C. § 1920(4). Reviewing a variety of cases and Blacks Law Dictionary, which defines “exemplifications” as “[a]n official transcript of a public record, authenticated as true copy for use as evidence”, the panel determines that the First Circuit would adopt a narrow definition of “exemplifications” and refuse to allow recovery for video animations. The panel also reduces the lower court's award of photocopy and deposition costs as these portions of the award are not deemed properly supported by the evidentiary record.

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