Recent changes to patent law have made it easier to beat patent trolls, but it hasn’t made the patent hotspot of East Texas any quieter. In fact, it’s been in the news more. Massive numbers of patent troll suits continue to be filed there, and the judge who hears most of them has erected barriers to defendants seeking to have their cases disposed of early.
Numbers published yesterday by the Electronic Frontier Foundation show just how bad the problem has gotten. In a “deep dive” blog post making the argument for venue reform, EFF lawyer Daniel Nazer notes that 1,387 cases were filed in E.D. Texas in the first half of 2015. That’s 44.4 percent of all patent cases in the nation, and the filings in East Texas are mostly by so-called “patent trolls,” which have no business other than licensing patents.
The attraction of East Texas is a combination of factors, which includes not just the perception of large jury awards for plaintiffs but things like discovery rules that are tough on defendants. One big factor is the reluctance of judges to grant summary judgment awards—and that’s especially important after last year’s landmark Alice v. CLS Bank case, which has resulted in more than 200 judicial orders kicking out “do it on a computer”-style patents.
Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Leave a Reply