Silicon Valley Patent Lawyers Set Up A Dog Park In Eastern Texas To Keep Cases There

from the buying-the-bull dept

One of the big battles in the patent world, as you probably know, involves the convoluted ways in which companies try to file and keep patent lawsuits in the notoriously patent holder-friendly East Texas. A few years ago, the appeals court that hears patent cases reprimanded the East Texas courts and suggested they should be more willing to transfer cases to more reasonable locations.

This has resulted in some games being played by lawyers who want to keep cases in Texas. The popular one is to set up a totally empty office in some of the office buildings that seem to specialize in this kind of thing. That was a nice part of the recent This American Life episode about patents, where reporters Alex Blumberg and Laura Sydell literally went to one such famous building in Marshall, Texas, and knocked on doors to see if anyone actually occupied the offices of “patent troll” companies. Another strategy has been to sue random companies in East Texas along with the real targets. The small East Texas companies are usually dropped from the lawsuit later, but the patent trolls argue that with so many different companies in so many different places, East Texas is as good as any place… especially since at least one infringing company is right there! Of course, one nice thing about the recent patent reform bill is that it likely ends these attempts to bogusly join together unrelated defendants.

Of course, some lawyers go above and beyond such simple tactics. A personal favorite, of course, was the fact that TiVo literally bought a prize-winning bull in Marshall, Texas. Some say it was to influence the jury, but we wonder if it didn’t also help establish a “presence” in East Texas.

Along those lines, it’s interesting to note that a Silicon Valley lawyer-turned-patent troll, named Kevin Zilka, who has a rather dubious history with filing lawsuits in East Texas, apparently has set up a dog park in East Texas. Once again, the assumption is that this is a rather cynical attempt by Zilka to establish a reason for keeping cases that jurisdiction. Zilka, after all, is the guy who once sued a company four blocks away from his own offices in San Jose… but still filed the case nearly 2,000 miles away in East Texas. I’m sure the dog park is quite nice, but it sure seems like a massively cynical attempt to establish a “presence” for the sake of keeping cases in East Texas.

Filed Under: , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Silicon Valley Patent Lawyers Set Up A Dog Park In Eastern Texas To Keep Cases There”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Some Other AC (profile) says:

Re: Texas

Richard, while I understand the sarcasm in your comment, please remember that Texas is the 2nd largest state in land area. Marshall, TX is barely a drop in the bucket for this state. Those of us who actually pay attention to common sense, the many news articles and related information surrounding IP law and it stupidities actually take a very dim view of these hill billies and ignorant backwoods bumpkins. Sad as this following statement it, I have found that regardless of birth place, or actual education achieved, many who have “moved” to the smaller East Texas towns have mysteriously misplaced, been robbed of, or otherwise lost most of their intellectual capacities.

Richard can't read says:

Re: Texas

Didn’t read the article, did you? Let me summarize, using small words (just for you):

Lawyers use texas law to get around patent law limitations.

How is this the fault of Texas? I’ll bet you’re some knee-jerk liberal who feels the need to crap-post on any topic with “Texas” in it. While we’re at it, Texas does *not* have the right to leave the US, or they would have done so 100 years ago… though don’t blame us if we try again now.

anonymous says:

dont agree with what has been going on for one minute but if they continue to do this, would a good way be to insist that the law firm(s) concerned has a permanently occupied office and been conducting business from that office for a minimum period of, say 12 months, with a minimum number of cases going on? at least it would give credence to their shenanigans

Aerilus says:

Re: Re:

This is Texas right were you can stop your truck at a gas station and pick up a load of immigrant employees for the day. the judges must know whats is going on the most effective measure to prevent this blatant favoritism would be to get the judge thrown out but I bet that is pretty close to impossible.

Valentine facebook status (user link) says:

Valentine facebook status

Let me start with Facebook. Of all the personalised Valentine’s gifts I want to see on February 14th, some loved-up status update posted by someone I’ve not seen in 13 years isn’t one of them. Okay, so it’s obviously not directed at me and technically there’s nothing to stop me ignoring it.

Article Source:

topeka (profile) says:


Please kick us out.

Then we can set up our own Patent Office and sue the H1B sucking, parasites in Cali.

You dipsticks get your panties in a wad whenever anyone tells you to but out of other people’s business… but you cry like babies when someone applies the same rules to you.

You don’t like Marshall because the people there think Google is no more cool than Exxon… and maybe less since oil companies pay for what they steal – and what they don’t steal.

None of you low-brows, especially in the Bahhhh Area could handle two days with a chain saw much less a week of pump work in the ET oil fields.

And I very much doubt you could handle petroleum engineering or range science either.

Humility breeds respect for others… but

Familiarity breeds contempt.

Look forward to seeing you whiners outsourced to Taipei or New Delhi.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...