Done deal – US court approves settlement of class action against CPA Global


By order dated 6 October 2017 US District Judge TS Ellis III brought an end to the class action filed against CPA Global alleging systematic and widespread overcharging of clients for patent renewal services. Under the terms of the settlement, 2917 clients will share in US$5,600,000 after deduction of US$1,864,000 to be paid to the plaintiff’s lawyers and US$25,000 to the plaintiff.

The order sets out the factors that support the court’s determination that the settlement is fair and reasonable:

“a. The posture of the case at the time settlement was proposed;
b. The extensive nature of written discovery and document production that had been conducted;
c. The arm’s-length negotiations presided over by mediator Randall Wulff, Esq. following the exchange of mediation statements; and
d. The extensive experience of counsel.”

It also sets out the factors that support the court’s determination that the settlement is adequate:

“a. The relative strength of Plaintiff’s case on the merits;
b. The difficulties of proof or strong defenses Plaintiff would likely encounter if the case had gone to trial;
c. The anticipated duration and expense of the litigation;
d. The degree of opposition to the Settlement; and
e. The Settlement benefits being made available to Settlement Class Members.”

The order also states, in paragraph 24:

“The Settlement Agreement and this Order are not admissions of liability or fault by CPA Global or the CPA Global Released Parties, nor do they constitute a finding of the validity of any claims in the Action or of any wrongdoing or violation of law by CPA Global or the CPA Global Released Parties. The Settlement Agreement and settlement are not a concession by CPA Global or the CPA Global Released Parties, and neither this Order or Judgment, nor any of its terms or provisions, nor any of the negotiations or proceedings connected with it, shall be offered as evidence or received in evidence or used in any way in any pending or future civil, criminal or administrative action or other proceeding to establish any liability or wrongdoing of, or admission by, CPA Global, the CPA Global Released Parties, or any of them.”


  • The plaintiff’s case had “relative strength” on the merits but there were also “difficulties of proof or strong defenses”
  • CPA Global admit nothing and the settlement cannot be used in any way (in US civil, criminal or administrative process) as evidence of anything
  • Evidence submitted in support of the settlement by the plaintiff’s counsel included the statement “After excluding the Administration Fees and the direct foreign patent renewal and agent fees, we concluded that CPA Global had received roughly $11.7 million in alleged overcharges.”
  • CPA Global have paid US$5,600,000

What more need one say than 'done deal'?