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It’s time for Fish & Richardson to pay up. The California Supreme Court on Wednesday let stand a lower court ruling that reinstated a malpractice award of about $30 million against the Boston-based firm. Kairos Scientific Inc., a chemical digital imaging company headquartered in San Diego, won the judgment after attorneys in Fish & Richardson’s Redwood City office failed to file a patent application in a timely fashion. The firm admitted its mistake but claimed Kairos suffered no damage. San Francisco’s First District Court of Appeal ruled otherwise late last year. John Steele, a special counsel in Fish & Richardson’s Redwood City office, expressed disappointment Wednesday about the Supreme Court’s refusal to review. “But the case has zero financial impact on the firm,” he said, “and since the events of seven years ago, we’ve continued to improve our systems.” Steele said the firm has already paid Kairos’ costs and fees. Earlier this year, he said the firm’s malpractice insurance would cover “any and all” payments. The case is Kairos Scientific v. Fish & Richardson, S141615.

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