Earlier this month, we noted the growing trend of patent holders to sue a ton of companies at once
, rather than suing a few at a time. There are probably two major reasons for this. First, is that companies that sense they're about to get sued for infringement have been a lot more aggressive in filing for declaratory judgments saying they don't infringe. This matters because then the lawsuit is more likely to take place in a court that the company is comfortable with, rather than where the patent holder wants to file (which is Marshall, Texas
). The second, and probably much bigger, reason is that patent holders are scared of both the pending patent reform
bill in Congress and all the efforts by the Supreme Court
to reel in many of the egregious abuses of the patent system. And, of course, since the latest case on that subject that the Supreme Court is checking out involves whether or not patent holders can shake down
companies up and down the supply chain (meaning that it gets licenses for the same item many times over), it's no surprise to see many patent holders filing massive lawsuits of just that nature quickly.
The anonymous Troll Tracker lawyer notes that this past Tuesday alone 126 companies were sued for patent infringement
, 113 of those in Marshall. However, as he notes, much of that is due to one patent holder, who sued a massive 91 or 92 companies (Troll Tracker says 91, the Inquirer says 92 and has the list
if you want to count). And, of course, the patent holder in question is suing up and down the supply chain to get all of those companies included. As the Troll Tracker notes: "He sued the allegedly infringing manufacturer. And he sued every single one of the manufacturer's customers. And he sued every single one of the manufacturer's customers' retailers." Expect to see more cases along these lines in the coming months, so perhaps we should start keeping a tally to see who wins for the largest single number of companies sued for infringement in a single lawsuit.