Posts Tagged ‘patent trolls’

“New Hampshire Court: First Amendment Protects Criticism of ‘Patent Troll'”

“A New Hampshire state court has dismissed a defamation suit filed by a patent owner unhappy that it had been called a ‘patent troll.’ The court ruled [PDF] that the phrase ‘patent troll’ and other rhetorical characterizations are not the type of factual statements that can be the basis of a defamation claim.” [Daniel Nazer, Electronic Frontier Foundation, earlier]

September 27 roundup

  • Welcome news: U.S. Department of Education withdraws notorious Dear Colleague letter on Title IX and misconduct accusations [Hans Bader, CEI; ABA Journal]
  • Kaspersky Lab turns tables, forces E.D. Tex. patent claimant to pay to end case [Joe Mullin, ArsTechnica] Following unanimous SCOTUS ruling easing fee awards for ill-grounded patent litigation, firm told to “pay $1.6 million in attorney’s fees for filing an unwarranted patent lawsuit against a competitor.” [same, Octane Fitness vs. Icon]
  • Activist litigation with taxpayer imprimatur: “University Of North Carolina Law School’s Civil Rights Center Closes Following Board Of Governors Vote” [Paul Caron/ TaxProf, Bainbridge, earlier]
  • Another positive review for Ben Barton and Stephanos Bibas’s Rebooting Justice [Jeremy Richter, earlier]
  • Appeals court rejects constitutional challenge to North Carolina homewrecker tort (“alienation of affection”) [ABA Journal, Eugene Volokh, earlier]
  • Social engineering often seen as intrinsically anti-liberty. Rightly so? [Cato Unbound: Jason Kuznicki, Alex Tabarrok and others]

Defamation suit after being called patent troll

David Barcelou and his company Automated Transactions, which have sued banks charging patent infringement over their use of Internet-connected automated teller machine technologies, in December filed a defamation suit in New Hampshire state court against the American Bankers Association, Crain’s Communications, and a variety of banks and other defendants. The suit contends that the defendants have engaged in a “smear campaign” intended to discredit the plaintiffs, prominently through use of the pejorative term “patent troll.” [Automated Transactions LLC v. ABA via IP Watchdog]

August 16 roundup

  • Federalist Society podcast with Wayne Crews and Devon Westhill on subregulatory guidance, agency memos, circulars, Dear Colleague letters, and other regulatory “dark matter”;
  • Having announced end to practice of funneling litigation settlement cash to private advocacy groups, AG Sessions plans to investigate some actions of previous administration in this line [New York Post, earlier, related Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz testimony on Obama bank settlements]
  • Update: jury acquits 4 Boston Teamsters on extortion charges in intimidation of “Top Chef” show and guest host Padma Lakshmi [Nate Raymond/Reuters (“smash your pretty little face”), more, Daily Mail (language, epithets); earlier]
  • “Hunted becomes the hunter: How Cloudflare is turning the tables on a patent troll” [Connie Loisos, Techcrunch]
  • Here’s a pro se sovereign citizen complaint if you can stand to look [@associatesmind thread on this N.D. Calif. filing]
  • IP license withheld: “Spain’s Bright Blue ‘Smurf Village’ Is Being Forced to De-Smurf” [Cara Giaimo, Atlas Obscura; Júzcar, Spain]

Soon, tumbleweeds in E.D. Tex.? SCOTUS strikes at patent forum-shopping

This morning’s Supreme Court opinion in TC Heartland v. Kraft Foods, hinging on what I described in January as a dry point of statutory interpretation, is likely to stand as a landmark win for defendants in patent litigation – and, on a practical level, for fairer ground rules in procedure. A unanimous Court (8-0, Thomas writing, Gorsuch not participating) rejected the broad reading of a venue statute by which the Federal Circuit had empowered lawyers to forum-shop disputes from all over the country into a few decidedly pro-plaintiff venues, above all the largely rural Eastern District of Texas. From here out, defendants can still be sued in a district such as E.D. Tex. if they have a regular and established place of business in it, but the decision is likely to shrink what I called in my January preview a “jackpot patent litigation sector… that shifts around billions of dollar.” By redirecting cases into more neutral venues, it should bring outcomes closer to reflecting cases’ actual merits, which would in turn do much toward restoring confidence in this sector of the law.

If Congress believes the Court has erred it is free to restore patent venue to a more shopper-friendly set of rules. But after the experience of recent years, it is unlikely that a Congress of either party or any likely political complexion will have an appetite for doing that.

[cross-posted from Cato at Liberty] More: Mike Masnick, TechDirt; Daniel Nazer, EFF. [& welcome SCOTUSBlog, Washington Post readers]

April 5 roundup

  • Lawsuit by pilot against landowner who shot down his drone is dismissed for lack of federal jurisdiction [Cyrus Farivar, ArsTechnica; earlier here and (criminal case) here]
  • Super-broad readings of Emoluments Clause intended to trip up President Trump might have unwelcome consequences for over 2 million military retirees and 2.8 million federal employees also affected by the Clause’s interpretation [Chuck Blanchard via Andy Grewal; earlier on Emoluments Clause]
  • “Appeals court throws out six Intellectual Ventures ‘do it on a computer’ patents” [Joe Mullin, ArsTechnica]
  • David Meyer-Lindenberg interviews Cato Institute chairman and legal scholar Bob Levy on topics that include Heller v. D.C., his taking up of law as a second career after business success, and Cato’s mission [Simple Justice]
  • Judicial deference to the administrative state: Evan Bernick reviews “Law’s Abnegation: From Law’s Empire to the Administrative State,” by Adrian Vermeule [Federalist Society Review]
  • An economist visits India’s great onion market [Alex Tabarrok]

March 8 roundup

November 16 roundup

Intellectual property roundup

  • “Copyright Trolls Now Threatening College Students With Loss of Scholarship, Deportation” [Timothy Geigner, TechDirt]
  • Use the phrase “Law Firm 2.0”? Better cease and desist [Carolyn Elefant, MyShingle]
  • “How A Supreme Court Case On Cheerleader Costumes and Copyright Could Impact Prosthetic Hands” [Mike Masnick, TechDirt]
  • Have you violated your competitor’s legal rights when you buy search engine advertising with its name as keyword? [Eric Goldman on Edible Arrangements case]
  • Trader Joe’s keeps battling the Canadian knockoff/reseller Pirate or Irate Joe’s [Lowering the Bar]
  • “Unified Patents files legal challenges against top three patent trolls of 2016” [Joe Mullin, ArsTechnica]