Patent Troll Tracker Trial: Defamation Or A Chance To Silence A Voice Some Patent Lawyers Didn't Like
from the which-do-you-think dept
The lawyers who had filed the lawsuit claimed that this was defamation, in that the posts accused them of a crime, and claimed all sorts of damages. They added Cisco to the lawsuit and the trial finally began last week. Joe Mullin is doing an amazing job reporting live from the trial, and has detailed the opening statements, Rick Frenkel's testimony and the testimony of the lawyers accusing Frenkel of defamation.
The East Texas patent lawyers are trying to paint a picture of some conspiracy theory to make them look bad, but it's difficult to see how that's supported. So far, it appears that the factual points that Frenkel noted were accurate. The filing did originally have the earlier date on it, and the court clerk was later convinced to change it. That, alone, is pretty suspicious -- and a point worth raising, as Frenkel did. No one seems to be disputing that. Instead, they're making it out to be a big conspiracy theory against them, and are claiming all sorts of emotional damage and that they were accused of being criminals (which Frenkel did not do), but haven't shown how there was any real harm. Instead, in the lawyers' testimony, they admit that when they saw the blog post, their first thought was "Let's get this shut down." In other words, on the stand, they admit that their lawsuit wasn't about defamation or harm, but about them trying to stifle free speech.
Who knows how the trial will end up, but from the testimony so far, it certainly looks like the lawyers are admitting that the case was really about exposing and silencing Frenkel, rather than about any real "harm" done to them or their reputation.