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IP Wise

Making Business Wise About Intellectual Property Litigation

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East Texas Court Orders Stay Pending Inter Partes Review

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Sometimes, the straightforward application of the law has the power to surprise. The United States Patent and Trademark Office has a process in place, called inter partes review, through which accused infringers can challenge the validity of patents asserted against them in litigation. Inter partes review is an adversary proceeding with a binding effect on...

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A Newly-Minted Cause of Action

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On its way to President Obama for signature is the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), passed yesterday by the House (and previously passed by the Senate), which amends the Economic Espionage Act to create a private civil cause of action for trade secret misappropriation. In effect, the DTSA creates a federal cause of action for...

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Down, Way Down in Texas

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Both Law360 and EDTexweblog are reporting a substantial drop in ED Texas patent filings for the first quarter of 2016, hovering around the 50% mark when compared to last year at the same time. Among other possibilities, speculation suggests that the eDekka invalidation order – and award of attorneys fees – might have dampened the...

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MPHJ: Just a Flesh Wound

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We’ve spoken before about MPHJ, the posterchild for patent abuse, which sent letters to tens of thousands of ordinary businesses using scanner-printers, seeking royalty payments. States from Vermont to Nebraska were sufficiently incensed to take direct action, kicking off a trend of interest in these types of cases among state attorneys general. (Most recently, we...

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A Rare Sight: East Texas Judge Grants Motion to Dismiss Patent Infringement Suit

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The data are in. As we’ve previously discussed, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas outstrips all others for patent infringement litigation, with approximately 40% of all recent cases filed in that one court. The reasons plaintiffs—especially patent trolls—favor this district have been studied. Most recently, in an August 2015 article, “Forum...

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VENUE Act

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With Lex Machina reporting that a disproportionate 43% of patent filings in 2015 were made in – you guessed it – the Eastern District of Texas, abusive forum shopping is once again a hot topic in the minds of patent defense attorneys. And, we hope, for Capitol Hill as well. Once again, patent reform has...

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When You *Can* Say It Any Plainer Than That

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One of the peculiar features of most patent litigation—and one reason it is so expensive—is the process of claim construction. The courts have decided that disputes over the language of patent claims must be decided by the trial judge because they are “questions of law” not “questions of fact.” And that has come to mean...

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Survival of the Shakedown

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Perhaps no one makes patent assertors regret filing suit more than California–based Newegg, which subscribes to the motto “Millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute.” More than three years after Pragmatus Telecom, LLC filed suit against Newegg for patent infringement based on the use of “live chat technology,” Newegg pursued Pragmatus all the...

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Without Precedent

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The Federal Circuit issued a novella last week, in the form of Lexmark Int’l, Inc. v. Impression Prods., Inc. The question at issue is straightforward: “We decided to hear this case en banc to consider whether two decisions of this court concerning the uncodified doctrine of patent exhaustion—one decision from 1992, the other from 2001—remain...

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The Troll Squad

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We’ve read with interest the news of Virginia’s new “Patent Troll Unit,” part of the Office of the Attorney General, and the latest effort of the Commonwealth to take a firm stand against bad faith practices against Virginia-based businesses. (The establishment of the Unit follows the passage of Va. Code §§ 59.1-215.1 et seq. in...

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