Day Before Patent Reform Was Signed, Mad Dash By Trolls To Sue: 51 Cases Against 680 Defendants

from the in-under-the-wire dept

While we still think that the new patent law that was signed by the President last week won't do much to make a difference, it does appear that a bunch of trolls who were at least a little concerned about the "joinder reform" part decide to sneak in as many cases against as many defendants as possible before the law went into effect. As you may recall, one of the few useful parts of the law was that it made it harder for patent holders to lump together totally unrelated companies into a single lawsuit. Doing so was popular for a variety of reasons: it's cheaper, obviously, but also because it made it easier to justify an East Texas (or other preferred) jurisdiction.

Groklaw noted a bunch of last minute patent troll lawsuits being filed right before the bill was signed into law, naming three such trolls that brought 12 cases against 222 companies, but also noting that this didn't represent all such cases. In fact, the folks at RPX contacted us with more data on this, noting that 85 cases against over 800 defendants were filed in the two week period before the bill was signed into law... and that includes 51 cases against 680 defendants the day before the bill was signed into law. This is in comparison to an average of about 160 companies sued in a "normal" week for infringement.

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 12:54pm

    What a parody our system has become. So pathetic.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 12:58pm

    So patent reform actually changing something, or are these guys just scared for nothing?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 1:18pm


    These guys are scared because they know The Maz is coming for them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Chosen Reject (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 1:49pm


    They're not scared about their trolling practices. It's just that they saw their costs were about to go up. This is like buying a bunch of your favorite cereal before the sale ends. It's not that you're afraid you won't be able to buy it after the sale ends, just that you know you can save money now.

    The problem, was the joinder reform was the only useful thing in the bill. The patent trolls will still be able to abuse patent law, they'll just have to pay a bit more because they can't lump all of the defendants into one lawsuit.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Mike, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 1:54pm


    The law pretty clearly changed the way suits against multiple defendants can be brought, aka joinder. Or, to be exact, clarified that it's not enough to have an allegedly infringed patent in common. You need something else.

    After the law passed, you should* see no more cases filed against 100s of defendants together in a single case. What you'll see instead is 100s of different cases.

    This has potential to be both good and bad for defendants. We shall see. The reasons for this are too numerous and complex to explain in a comment, though.

    * I'll note that there have been several cases naming multiple seemingly unrelated defendants filed after the law passed.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. icon
    Carlos Solís (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 2:19pm

    Is the patent system alive and working? Nope, it's Chuck Testa!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    hmm (profile), Sep 21st, 2011 @ 3:37pm

    patent reFORM......they just reFORMed the lawsuits into slightly different layouts...the evil scum sucking troll companies that actively want to hurt humanity to make a profit and don't care if children or the elderly or anyone else die as a result of their license scams will keep filing away, knowing its still possible to suck at the tit of humanity without returning anything of value.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    abc gum, Sep 21st, 2011 @ 6:16pm

    Attention PatentMart shoppers - BlueLight Special on Aisle six. Get 'em while they're hot.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    patent litigation, Sep 26th, 2011 @ 8:49pm

    sorely needed

    This new spate of suits indicates that the new disjoinder rules may indeed be sorely needed. At least now no one can say that Congress isn't doing anything to address the patent troll issue. Even though it's likely not enough to resolve the problem, at least it seems to be a step in the right direction.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    staff, Sep 27th, 2011 @ 9:24am

    another biased article

    Masnick has an unreported conflict of interest-

    He sells blog filler and "insights" to major corporations including MS, HP, IBM etc. who just happen to be some of the world’s most frequent patent suit defendants. Obviously, he has failed to report his conflicts as any reputable reporter would. But then Masnick is not a reporter. He is a patent system saboteur receiving funding from huge corporate infringers. He cannot be trusted and has no credibility. All he knows about patents is he doesn’t have any.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. icon
    lrobbo (profile), Jun 12th, 2012 @ 10:09am

    It's the thought of nothing that scares em

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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