Patent Trolls Face More ProblemsAdded: Thursday, June 5th, 2014
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The good news here is that patent trolls seem to find life much more difficult in the courts of the United States from now. Patent trolls appeared a few years ago, demanding huge licensing fees from companies who prefer to pay up rather than go to court.
Fortunately, a number of major tech firms decided that they will go to court and started fighting back. For example, FindTheBest counter sued a patent troll called Lumen View back in 2013, when company CEO just made it personal and pledged $1 million of his own money to start the legal battle.
After FindTheBest pursued the case, the troll was worsted. The judge invalidated Lumen’s patent claiming that it was simply computer-oriented “matchmaking”. In addition, the judge has ruled that it’s the patent troll, not the defender that should have to pay the $200,000 in expenses. The judge found that the Lumen View case was a “prototypical exceptional lawsuit”.
The judge claimed that Lumen’s motivation in the lawsuit was to extract a nuisance settlement from FindTheBest on the belief that the company would rather pay an unjustified license fee than choose an expensive litigation.
Indeed, Lumen View threatened the tech firm with “full-scale litigation” and “protracted discovery”, along with a settlement demand escalator should the defender file papers. All this was aimed at convincing the tech company that a pay-off was easier and cheaper. However, the Supreme Court has changed the test for fee-shifting in order to deter such moves from the trolls’ part. The judge pointed out that Lumen failed to carry out any reasonable pre-suit investigation, but just filed a number of near-identical “boilerplate” complaints in a short time frame.
Moreover, Lumen View tried to get a “gag order” against FindTheBest, to stop the firm from talking to the press about the lawsuit. Thus far, it is unclear how much the troll will have to pay. This court ruling is good news for the entire industry and for FindTheBest in particular, as the company recently lost an RICO anti-extortion case against Lumen View. In that case, the judge was not convinced that RICO could be used to fight bogus lawsuits, even as baseless as that one.
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