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.


DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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