Patent Troll Sues The FTC, Saying It Has A First Amendment Right To Shake Down Companies Using A Scanner
from the good-luck-with-that dept
When the FTC began investigating patent trolls, apparently MPHJ was near the top of its list, to the point that it was preparing to file a lawsuit against the company. MPHJ took the rather aggressive route of suing the FTC and its five commissioners directly.
MPHJ claims that the FTC's action "violate MPHJ's constitutional rights." It claims that the FTC has "no authority to regulate or interfere with the patent enforcement activity at issue..." This seems to ignore a Supreme Court ruling from just a few months ago that showed that the FTC does, in fact, have a mandate over patent enforcement issues, when that enforcement goes into areas that the FTC regulates, such as antitrust violations or unfair or deceptive commerce practices -- basically the core stuff the FTC regulates.
On top of this, MPHJ argues that it has a first amendment right to shake down companies for money. It's going to have a very difficult time supporting that argument. It seems unlikely that MPHJ's case will get very far. However, the FTC's suit against MPHJ may spell a world of trouble not just for it, but for other patent trolls, who may want to take notice.