Beware Your Expired Patents

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In a potentially far-reaching decision in the last days of 2009, the Federal Circuit recognized that it might just have opened the floodgates for suits by the latest type of opportunistic plaintiffs in patent cases: the “marking troll.” Forest Group Inc. v. Bon Tool Co., 590 F.3d 1295 (Fed. Cir. 2009). Interpreting the federal false marking statute, which imposes a $500 civil penalty for identifying a product as patented if it’s really an “unpatented article,” the court in Forest Group held that the statute subjects an offender to a penalty of up to $500 for each article so marked.

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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.

© Peter Perkowski | Attorney Advertising

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