Patent Hoarder Pitting Competitors Against Each Other For Injunction Rights
from the now-look-what-you've-done dept
Here's how the plan works. First, the patent hoarding firm, Rembrant, sues two competitors in the contact lens space: Bausch & Lomb and Ciba. Then, it works out a settlement deal with one of those two firms -- in this case, B&L. However, part of that settlement (beyond some sort of licensing agreement) is to hand over the patent's injunction rights to B&L, while keeping the actual patent and everything else associated with it in the hands of Rembrant. Then, what you have is a patent infringement lawsuit against Ciba, just like before. Except, since B&L is a practicing competitor rather than just a patent hoarder, the company can ask for an injunction. In effect, as Ciba notes in its own filing on the matter, Rembrant sued the two competitors and then offered one a big carrot not just to settle, but to flip sides in the court case itself in order to use the very patent it had been sued over against a competitor. You have to imagine that Thomas Jefferson didn't see this coming when he laid out the details of the original US patent system.