RTP Legislator Takes on Patent Abuse

Representative Tom Murry, who is a lawyer and a pharmacist and represents the RTP-commuting folks in western Wake County and lives between the Triangle's 3 research institutions, is trying to discourage bad-faith claims of patent infringement with HB 1032 - An Act to Prevent the Abusive Use of Patents. If enacted this law would strike a balance between speedy resolution of patent infringement claims, protection for NC businesses from bad-faith patent infringement assertions and not interfering with legitimate patent enforcement claims.

The bill adds a new "Article 8, Abusive Patent Assertions" to Chapter 57 of the NCGS.

The bill sets out 12 factors a court may use as evidence in determining whether a person has made a bad-faith assertion of patent infringement, including whether the person has standing to make a claim or understands the impact of the patent. The bill also sets out factors a court may use as evidence in determining that a person has not made a bad-faith assertion of patent infringement.

The bill contains a section allowing a court to require a bond that would cover the target's costs and fees to litigate the claim. A target may bring an action in Superior Court against a person that made a bad-faith assertion of patent infringement against them and the court may award to a prevailing plaintiff equitable relief, damages, and costs and fees.

My summary doesn't do the bill justice, so please read the bill here: http://www.ncleg.net/Sessions/2013/Bills/House/PDF/H1032v2.pdf

This week the bill passed the House Commerce Committee with changes that were mostly technical and organizational in manner. The bill's next stop is Subcommittee B of the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, May 27th at 3:00.


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