The Day All The Patent Trolls Rushed To File New Lawsuits
from the because-of-fee-shifting dept
The Senate is still working on patent reform, despite the House approving it months ago. However, you can be sure that patent trolls and their lawyers have been watching the space carefully. One of the proposed amendments on the Senate side would concern fee shifting — making the losing party have to pay the winning party’s legal bills — and in the amendment it says it would go into effect, on April 24, 2014. Even though the bill has not yet gone anywhere and the amendment may not make it, it would appear that trolls and their lawyers (often one and the same) realized that if they wanted to avoid fee shifting, they’d better get filing. And, boy, did they ever file a lot of patent infringement cases on Wednesday April 23rd: 190 cases. In case you’re wondering, the day before 8 patent cases were filed.
But just that number alone might not give you enough perspective to understand this mad rush to the courts (or, well, as we’ll see, one court in particular) to file patent lawsuits. The good folks over at Lex Machina have put together some data to show just how noteworthy all those patent lawsuit filings are. Here are the daily patent lawsuit filings for the first four months of 2014. Notice any particular outlier?
Of course, this also shows that trolls know they have questionable claims and that they fear fee shifting mightily. It’s why any patent reform bill needs strong fee shifting provisions to deal with such bogus lawsuits.