RIM Asks Why Visto's Patent Suit Is Being Filed In Marshall, Texas?
from the good-question dept
It’s really not much of a surprise that, following Visto’s decision to sue RIM for patent infringement, that RIM would sue Visto back, claiming that the patents are invalid (claiming that there’s clear prior art) and that even if they are valid, RIM doesn’t infringe. However, what’s interesting is that as part of the suit, RIM is asking to move the case out of the court in Marshall, Texas, and over to Dallas — where their US headquarters are based. Visto, of course, is based in California, but still filed the suit in East Texas, because of the court there. We’ve already talked about how patent holders love to file their patent lawsuits in the small town of Marshall, Texas, as the court has proven to be remarkably friendly to patent holders. Those who know their patent system history will note that there was a similar situation a few decades ago resulted in a change to patent laws, after patent holders would rush to file infringement lawsuits in specific district courts, thought to be friendlier to patent holders. To avoid that problem, the system was changed so that all appeals on patent cases went to a centralized appeals court. However, since there’s so much pressure for those sued to settle patent infringement cases without having to go through multiple levels of the judicial system, there is still clearly forum shopping at the initial lawsuit level. When the filers are clearly picking jurisdictions based on nothing more than their propensity to rule in the patent-holder’s favor, there’s clearly a problem with how the system is working.