Wednesday, May 24, 2017

A Great Day For Innovators - Supreme Court's Unanimous Ruling Could Be A Game Changer

Brian Fung of the Washington Post writes a great article titled:  The Supreme Court’s big ruling on ‘patent trolls’ will rock businesses everywhere.

I first blogged on Patent Trolls six years ago and defined the term and history as well.   I wrote about Tim O'Reilly discussing Patent Trolls and President Obama's Executive Orders to try to curtail Patent Trolls.

This is BIG news because, as Mr. Fung states:  

"It's a big deal, particularly for smaller companies. The court voted unanimously to say that patent lawsuits should be tried where the defending company is based, rather than in a court of the plaintiff's choosing.
Legal analysts say this decision could shift a huge number of cases away from “plaintiff-friendly” districts and toward more “neutral” venues where a defending company stands a better chance of fending off a suit.
“From here out,” according to Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute, “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.’ "
As Mr. Fung points out, the challenge has been that:
"Until the Supreme Court's ruling this week, patent lawsuits could be heard all across the country, giving companies the opportunity to seek out courts where the odds were tilted in their favor.
This led to a kind of clustering, where a handful of federal courts became responsible for deciding a huge number of patent cases. One major example is the Eastern District of Texas, which is notorious both for hearing a lot of patent infringement cases and also for handing accusers big wins. A 2015 study by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that the court was far more likely to decide in a patent plaintiff's favor than other courts."
 The Eastern District of Texas was infamous for its friendliness for patent trolls. 

I blogged about Patent Trolls many times over the years and here are two in the past few years where I discuss John Oliver's piece on Patent Trolls, as well as a video on patent scams.

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