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Patent Troll Watch - States Are Pushing Patent Trolls Away from the Legal Line

Oregon introduces bill to make improper patent license demands a violation of its unlawful trade practices law - In February 2014, Senate Bill 1540 was filed, which would make patent trolling a violation of the...more

New North Carolina Law Provides Tool to Battle Patent Trolls

The North Carolina General Assembly recently passed a bill aimed at the abusive assertion of patents. It was part of the Commerce Protection Act of 2014 (S 648, S.L. 2014-110, section 2.1) and was signed into law by Governor...more

Patent Troll Legislation: Oregon State Courts Curb Abuse of Patent Laws by NPEs

Patent trolls, or more politely, Non-Practicing Entities (NPEs), are firms that collect “license” fees on patent rights by threatening lawsuits. Rarely do NPEs make any products, provide any services or operate any systems...more

Supreme Court Blocks Citizens United Advisory Proposition From Ballot

I’ve previously reported on SB 1272 which was rushed through the legislature and allowed to become “law” without Governor Brown’s signature. The bill, authored by Senator Ted Lieu, calls for an advisory vote on whether the...more

Significant Legislation Affecting Business Passed by General Assembly

At the end of last week, the North Carolina General Assembly passed significant legislation affecting the State’s business legal climate. With large bipartisan majorities, the Legislature adopted Senate Bill 853 (SB 853),...more

CFIUS and FINSA: Analyzing “foreign control”, “national security risk” and other factors

My recent CFIUS post explained the basic legislative scheme and review process of the Foreign Investment in National Security Act (“FINSA”), which gives the President of the United States, acting upon the recommendation of...more

Campaign Finances – But I Want to Give More! The Struggle Between the First Amendment and Corruption

"I am not a crook.” In the wake of violations in the Watergate Scandal, the Federal Election Commission (FEC) was created in 1974 to oversee and enforce campaign finance regulations and the Federal Election Campaign Act was...more

Turning The Tide on “Trolls”

When a non-practicing entity (NPE) accused 16,000 small businesses of violating its patent by merely emailing scanned documents, the New York attorney general cracked down, forcing a settlement. Then the FTC threatened to sue...more

Adoption of Fee-Shifting Bylaws by Pennsylvania Corporations

Recently, there has been some unusual excitement in the corporate bar in Delaware after the Supreme Court of Delaware held that a nonstock corporation could adopt a bylaw requiring a losing plaintiff in a lawsuit involving...more

Delaware Fee-Shifting Legislation Delayed

In the face of opposition from business organizations, the Delaware legislature has deferred consideration, likely until the beginning of 2015, of proposed legislation (discussed in the Corporate and Financial Weekly Digest...more

Court Ruling Puts Massachusetts Casinos At Risk

Yesterday, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in Abdow v. Attorney General rejected challenges to a ballot initiative seeking the effective repeal of Massachusetts’s 2011 gaming law, directing the measure to be included...more

The ban on fee-shifting bylaws is temporarily defeated – 4 points for public companies

The Delaware state senator responsible for introducing a proposed ban on fee-shifting bylaws has instead sponsored a resolution – unanimously passed in the Delaware state senate – to delay any vote on the proposed ban until...more

Is the Internal Revenue Service Lying?

Do you remember the controversy where the IRS was accused of targeting and unfairly auditing the Tea Party? In an article Sunday from CNN’s Political Ticker by Sara Fischer, the IRS has claimed that it is unable to...more

Why patent reform won’t wait for Congressional action

Last month, after repeated delays and countless compromises, Sen. Patrick Leahy took the Senate’s version of comprehensive patent reform legislation off the calendar — dashing the hopes of those seeking reform without even a...more

The Law of Unintended Consequences?

Shortly after the indictment of Rod Blagojevich, Illinois legislators passed a number of campaign finance reform measures, including contribution limits for the first time in the state’s history and limits on independent...more

Delaware Legislation Banning Fee-Shifting in Bylaws and Charters

In a swift response to the Delaware Supreme Court’s May 8 opinion holding that fee-shifting bylaws are facially valid (ATP Tour v. Deutscher Tennis Bund), members of the Delaware bar, representing both plaintiffs and...more

Delaware May Level Playing Field With Regard to Fee-Shifting Bylaws

As discussed (see link below), a recent decision of the Delaware Supreme Court could be a game changer in the world of stockholder litigation. In ATP Tour, Inc. v. Deutscher Tennis Bund (Del. May 8, 2014), the Delaware...more

Anti-Patent Troll Legislation Moves Forward in North Carolina

Just over a week into the new session of the North Carolina General Assembly, legislation aimed at the abusive assertion of patent infringement claims by “patent trolls” may be gaining traction, with a bill apparently headed...more

Patent Reform Legislation Off The Table -- For Now

Earlier today, Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Chairman of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, announced that he was taking the Patent Transparency and Improvements Act of 2013 (S. 1720) off the Committee's agenda. He cited...more

“Patent Trolls” in the Crosshairs – But How Will Patent Reform Legislation Impact the Rest of Us

Both Congress and the White House have been actively pursuing patent litigation reform in an attempt to combat the perceived “patent troll” problem. Of course, any legislation will impact all patent holders, even though most...more

U.S. House Committee Holds Hearing on Abusive Patent Demand Letters

On April 8, 2014, the U.S. House Committee on Energy & Commerce, Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade held a hearing “Trolling for a Solution: Ending Abusive Patent Demand Letters.” The purpose of the hearing...more

Anti-Patent Troll Legislation: What is Proposed and What it Could Mean

Proposed patent legislation has been causing a stir at both the federal and state levels recently. In an effort to curb infringement litigation initiated by non-practicing entities, often referred to as "patent trolls,"...more

Looking Upstream: Weighing Proposed Changes To Customer Stays In Patent Litigation*

At a time when congressional partisanship is the norm, curbing lawsuits filed by nonpracticing entities (NPEs) may be one of the few issues uniting Washington. Over the past year, both Republicans and Democrats introduced...more

Senate Legislation Update -- The Commerce Committee Gets in the Act

Last Thursday, Sen. McCaskill, along with Sen. Rockefeller, introduced the "Transparency in Assertion of Patents Act" (S. 2049). Of course, several other bills are currently pending in the Senate that have been introduced by...more

White House Announces Executive Actions Designed to Combat Patent Trolls

Last week, the White House announced new executive actions characterized as initiatives “to combat patent trolls and further strengthen our patent system and foster innovation.” This marks a continuation of the White House’s...more

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