Troll Tracker Sued For Defamatation By Patent Attorneys In East Texas

from the you-knew-that-was-coming... dept

Just this morning we were lamenting the fact that the formerly anonymous Patent Troll Tracker had shut down his blog, but now we know why. It appears that two patent attorneys in East Texas have sued him and Cisco for defamation. One of the attorneys happens to also be the son of the judge who helped make Marshall, Texas famous as a favorite for patent holders. The details on the case suggest that this lawsuit may have been the reason that Rick Frenkel outed himself, as it was actually filed back in November and used as a way to unmask the Troll Tracker.

The defamation claim is based on a post that Frenkel put up back in October, which we wrote about. It involved the fact that the Texas lawyers in question had filed a patent lawsuit against Cisco in Texas, the day before the actual patent was issued (which you're not supposed to do). In response, Cisco (perhaps Frenkel himself) had quickly filed for a declaratory judgment in Connecticut. Later on, the date on the original filing in Texas was changed, a fact that Frenkel found quite questionable. No matter what, that case was eventually dismissed entirely -- but the lawyers in question are still suing both him and Cisco for defamation. Cisco, I'd imagine, isn't thrilled about the whole situation, but one would hope execs there are reasonable enough not to punish Frenkel for this. It would be great if lawyers could weigh in on the defamation claim. The links above have most of the text being used in the defamation claim, and I'm struggling to figure out what's actually defamatory about it. There doesn't seem to be anything that would count as defamation at all. Even if there is some defamation in there somewhere, it's also difficult to see how Cisco could be found responsible for the speech. Even though Frenkel worked at Cisco, he clearly did not post the story as a representative of Cisco, and was quite careful to point to other sources that had reported the news first (i.e., not using internal Cisco info). Anyone know if Texas has a SLAPP law in place?

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  1. identicon
    Me, 19 Aug 2008 @ 7:54am

    Re: Re: Re: When was the complaint filed?

    Some time back I used to work for an R&D company. We entered numerous litigation after companies refused to take a license of our patents. The patent lawyers from the "other" side would regularly LIE to the court and mis represent facts. We found numerous mis-representations and out and out lies that the court should have sanctioned the lawyers. However, courts are reluctant to do this as they tend to give the benefit of
    doubt that they were just mistaken.

    Courts should penalize lawyers when they lie to the court and it would cause lawyers to rethink thier stratigies when entering in to a patent case.

    Me.

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