Day Before Patent Reform Was Signed, Mad Dash By Trolls To Sue: 51 Cases Against 680 Defendants
from the in-under-the-wire dept
While we still think that the new patent law that was signed by the President last week won’t do much to make a difference, it does appear that a bunch of trolls who were at least a little concerned about the “joinder reform” part decide to sneak in as many cases against as many defendants as possible before the law went into effect. As you may recall, one of the few useful parts of the law was that it made it harder for patent holders to lump together totally unrelated companies into a single lawsuit. Doing so was popular for a variety of reasons: it’s cheaper, obviously, but also because it made it easier to justify an East Texas (or other preferred) jurisdiction.
Groklaw noted a bunch of last minute patent troll lawsuits being filed right before the bill was signed into law, naming three such trolls that brought 12 cases against 222 companies, but also noting that this didn’t represent all such cases. In fact, the folks at RPX contacted us with more data on this, noting that 85 cases against over 800 defendants were filed in the two week period before the bill was signed into law… and that includes 51 cases against 680 defendants the day before the bill was signed into law. This is in comparison to an average of about 160 companies sued in a “normal” week for infringement.