Do Patent Lawyers Really Want To Put Limits On The Rocket Docket Of East Texas?

from the not-sure-I-believe-that.. dept

There's not much upon which I agree with the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA). So, consider me a little surprised (and somewhat suspicious) that the group has filed an amicus brief suggesting that the East Texas docket is handling too many patent cases and hasn't transferred cases that clearly should be transferred. This is a similar issue to a ruling we recently noted at the appeals court level pushing for easier transfer of cases to more convenient locations. While it's nice to see the AIPLA come out and basically admit that patent holders have been forum shopping and abusing the court system to get favorable rulings, the cynic in me says that they're doing this as a way to tell Congress that patent reform isn't needed (since forum shopping is one aspect of patent reform under consideration).


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  1.  
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    Charles, Apr 1st, 2008 @ 2:44am

    AIPLA has come out strongly against many aspects of the pending patent reform legislation, so perhaps your cynicism is justified.

     

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  2.  
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    Steve Wyatt, Apr 1st, 2008 @ 8:01am

    When I worked for Lucent-Bell Labs, they created practically nothing, and basically sued patent infringers for the most basic designs, that any digital engineer WOULD come up with on their own.

    So, a small company writes some cellphone software, and as soon as they make money, they will be sued because Lucent has manipulated the courts to get IP protection on things that they own.

    Allowing software algorithms to be patentented is something I could never imagine while in college.

    I was convicted of stealing Lucent's mailing list, pleaded to a misdemeanor, paid $150, and they never found the list. I will continue to steal every piece of software source code I can find or get my hands on, for the rest of my life.

     

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  3.  
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    Michael Vilain, Apr 1st, 2008 @ 8:38am

    anything posted today is suspecious

    IT'S APRIL 1st people. Anything you see on the Net today should be taken with several Kg of NaCl (Iodized or plain, your call).

     

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  4.  
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    Brad, Apr 1st, 2008 @ 9:26am

    It's probably not a April Fools Joke

    The article in question was posted on Mar. 27th. Techdirt is only reporting on it today.

     

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  5.  
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    MLS, Apr 1st, 2008 @ 10:54am

    I daresay that most actively engaged in the practice of patent law do support limitations being placed on where infringement suits may be brought. This is an issue that transcends both big and small companies, and what the AIPLA is urging is not only that the law be changed to reduce "venue shopping", but also for district courts to give due consideration to other rules of civil procedure such as, for example, "forum non conveniens".

    As for arguments against patent law reform, most comments to date against certain portions of the proposals before the House and Senate are based upon the simple observation that they do little, if anything, to solve real world problems associated with the patent system.

     

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  6.  
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    angry dude, Apr 1st, 2008 @ 11:28am

    Dude, wake up

    "As for arguments against patent law reform, most comments to date against certain portions of the proposals before the House and Senate are based upon the simple observation that they do little, if anything, to solve real world problems associated with the patent system."

    Hah ?
    Do little ?
    is this why every patent holder is red in the face after reading some passages in this co-called "reform" ?

     

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  7.  
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    DanC, Apr 1st, 2008 @ 1:20pm

    Re: Dude, wake up

    is this why every patent holder is red in the face after reading some passages in this co-called "reform"

    Reading comprehension, 'dude'. The post says that the arguments against the current patent reform movement are based on the fact that the proposed changes won't work. Which supports your viewpoint that the patent reform is bad.

     

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  8.  
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    Ronald J Riley (profile), Apr 1st, 2008 @ 5:26pm

    AIPLA represents big company interests.

    Mike, like you there is not much I find I agree with AIPLA with.

    AIPLA represents the interests of large older companies who want to preserve the value of their portfolios but who are also part of the HARMonization crowd who want to turn the patent system into a king’s sport. They would not mind disadvantaging upstart startup companies and individual inventors as long as doing so does not devalue their patents. The patent law faction which AIPLA is most closely affiliated with is the Coalition for 21st Century Patent Reform.

    Both the 21st Century group and the Coalition for Patent fairness & PIRACY would like to be able to take small entities intellectual property. But the 21st Century group values their own intellectual property while the Piracy Coalition shares your view that they would be better off without patents.

    The reason that both groups do not like the Marshal TX court is that it has rigid rules which prevent the kinds of abuse of the process of law which has stood large corporate patent pirates in goo stead over the years. The solution to the issue of the Eastern Texas court being so popular is for other courts to adopt similar rules.

    Big companies can afford long court delays. Small companies need swift justice in order to survive. Big companies have long been abusing legal delays and they hate Marshal, TX because the court rejects this kind of abuse. These companies are being handed their heads based on the courts’ findings that they are Patent Pirates, little more then common thieves.

    Now perhaps Mike can explain how and why his view of the Marshal, TX court is almost exactly in tune with that of Piracy Coalition member companies ??

    Please Mike, this time around do not start whining like these companies do when they are found to have been willfully stealing other’s patent properties :)

    Ronald J. Riley,

    Speaking only on my own behalf.
    Affiliations:
    President - www.PIAUSA.org - RJR at PIAUSA.org
    Executive Director - www.InventorEd.org - RJR at InvEd.org
    Senior Fellow - www.patentPolicy.org
    President - Alliance for American Innovation
    Caretaker of Intellectual Property Creators on behalf of deceased founder Paul Heckel
    Washington, DC
    Direct (202) 318-1595 - 9 am to 9 pm EST.

     

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  9.  
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    Ronald McDonald, Apr 1st, 2008 @ 6:52pm

    Re: AIPLA represents big company interests.

    The Marshal TX court has rigid rules which enhance the kinds of abuse of the process of law which has stood large corporate patent trolls in mucho dinero over the years. The solution to the issue of the Eastern Texas court being so popular is for other courts to cut down the rulings make there.

    Speaking on behalf of the hamburglar
    President - www.supersizeme.lard
    Executive Director - www.transfat.fries
    Senoir Fellow - www.imafellow.yellow
    President - Alliance for American obesity
    Caretaker of Stupidity Property creators on behalf of a dead guy

     

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  10.  
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    DanC, Apr 1st, 2008 @ 7:20pm

    Re: AIPLA represents big company interests.

    Small companies need swift justice in order to survive.

    They also need quick resolution so the patent office doesn't have time to issue rejections of their patent claims before they've procured a licensing fee from the defendant.

     

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  11.  
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    Mike (profile), Apr 2nd, 2008 @ 3:14am

    Re: AIPLA represents big company interests.

    The reason that both groups do not like the Marshal TX court is that it has rigid rules which prevent the kinds of abuse of the process of law which has stood large corporate patent pirates in goo stead over the years.

    Actually, there's a pretty large body of evidence that plenty of companies use Marshall Texas to *abuse* the process. Not the other way around.


    Now perhaps Mike can explain how and why his view of the Marshal, TX court is almost exactly in tune with that of Piracy Coalition member companies ??


    Only after you explain why you keep making false claims about my affiliations, and insist that Rep. Berman and I have the "same corporate masters" despite totally disagreeing on just about everything.

    I'm really amused, Ronald, at your ability to first paint me and Berman as being connected for having totally divergent views, and then now claim I'm connected to a particular coalition because I agree with them on a *single* point.

    Is your argument really that weak?

     

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  12.  
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    steve, Apr 2nd, 2008 @ 4:40am

    All this whining about venue selection, damage calculations, yada-yada-yada, is nothing but a thinly veiled attempt at making it harder for the little guy to patent and protect their inventions. Certain venues are selected over others for various reasons. In the case of TX the rules of the court are such to provide for a speedy and timely trial. The docket in some jurisdictions might delay for several years . As they say, justice delayed in justice denied. Time is money and for a small company delays can be deadly. Not so for infringers of course. They’d like to delay until hell freezes over.
    Steve

     

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  13.  
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    DanC, Apr 2nd, 2008 @ 7:13am

    Re:

    All this whining about venue selection, damage calculations, yada-yada-yada, is nothing but a thinly veiled attempt at making it harder for the little guy to patent and protect their inventions.

    This isn't a "little guy" vs. "big guy" argument, and attempts to paint it as such are, at best, intentionally misleading.

    Certain venues are selected over others for various reasons. In the case of TX the rules of the court are such to provide for a speedy and timely trial.

    It's also selected because the judges are inclined to not wait for the USPTO to review the patents in question, the large elderly population that tends to make up the jury, and the general inclination to rule in favor of the patent holder.

    Time is money and for a small company delays can be deadly.

    Of course, quite often the small company suing is a patent holding organization that bases its business strategy on litigation using overly broad patents rather than innovation. Since the whole purpose of patents is to promote progress, it would appear that these patent holding firms are accomplishing the exact opposite.

    I realize you have this little paragraph on speed dial, but could you please provide something to back up your claims?

     

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