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Patent Troll Supreme Court Decision has Strategy Implications for IP Private Investigations

 

The widely reported decision of the Supreme Court that limits the ability of plaintiffs  (often ‘patent trolls’) to sue outside of the defendant’s incorporated jurisdiction, appears to have strategic implications for IP private investigators in uncovering the truth.

Briefly, ‘patent trolls’ make bogus claims against smaller companies alleging infringement, which compels the companies to then pay royalties (even when the defendant knows it’s an illegitimate claim) because they do not have the resources to investigate the ‘troll.” Many legal experts agree it’s an abuse of the patent law system.

In the past, IP private investigators were helpful in cases where a ‘patent troll’ files a claim against a company in the Eastern District of Texas (known to be friendly to plaintiffs, but, still requiring the “troll” to prove Bonafide roots in that Texas district to make the claim.)

So, IP investigators would simply expose that the plaintiff essentially set-up a ‘shell’ front to give that Bonafide appearance (i.e., business address is only a mailbox; studio apartment was recently rented.) And, in fact, the investigation would also reveal that the plaintiff does indeed have Bona fide roots, except, nowhere near East Texas.

Now, since ‘patent trolls’ can only file suit in the defendant’s state of incorporation, (which is long overdue) IP private investigators are left to find other ways to offer litigation support. One way to be of service is for the IP investigator to uncover the ‘patent trolls’ bogus history of claims.

To read the details of the Supreme Court decision, see the link to the following shared article, published in The Globe and Mail, and written by Andrew Chung for Reuters on May 22. 2017:

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/international-business/us-business/us-supreme-court-tightens-patent-suit-rules-in-blow-to-patent-trolls/article35078667/

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Ron Alvarez is an IP Protection and Investigations specialist at XG Consultants Group, Inc., in New York City. He is a former NYPD lieutenant where he investigated robbery, narcotics, internal affairs, and fine art theft cases. Ron is a graduate of the FBI National Academy and earned a B.A. in Government and Public Administration from John Jay College of Criminal Justice in Manhattan. He has published a number of articles on various topics for PI Magazine. Ron is licensed in New York State.

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