Non-Practicing Entities

News & Analysis as of

In re: TC Heartland LLC: Status Quo for Venue Selection in Patent Suits (For Now)

The Federal Circuit, in In re: TC Heartland LLC (No. 2016-105), recently issued an opinion denying TC Heartland’s petition for a writ of mandamus to direct the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware to either...more

Equitable Estoppel Stops NPE From Asserting Patents that its Assignor Failed to Assert

In High Point SARL v. Sprint Nextel Corporation, [2015-1298] (April 5, 2016), the Federal Circuit affirmed summary judgment that equitable estoppel and laches preclude prosecution of High Point’s claims for infringement of...more

The Threshold of Exceptionality: There Is a Line, and It Can Be Crossed

Non-practicing entity (“NPE”) plaintiffs beware and NPE defendants be delighted: sanctions for objectively unreasonable claims and conduct are alive and well. Defendants in NPE litigations, particularly in the Eastern...more

What is a Patent Troll and Why are you Always Hearing about Them?

The term “Patent Troll” has been around for a long time. According to the Wikipedia page for “Patent Troll,” it was first used in 1993 to describe countries that file aggressive patent lawsuits. Though there are a variety of...more

Patent Trolls – What’s the Verdict? A Look at the Impact of the Apple Case

In what is potentially the largest “patent troll” verdict in history, Apple has lost a $625 million patent jury award to VirnetX, according to Reuters news service. The jury verdict in the Eastern District of Texas includes...more

Changes to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Affecting Patent Litigation

On December 1, 2015, various amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“Federal Rules”) went into effect. Several rule changes are already having a significant effect on litigation in general, and patent litigation...more

New Georgia Statute on Bad Faith Patent Cases May Discourage Both Weak and Strong Cases from Being Brought in Georgia

Plaintiff Walter Farmer (“Farmer”) initiated suit in September 2014 asserting infringement of claim 1 of his U.S. Patent No. 7,362,007 (the “’007 Patent”), issued April 22, 2008, and covering uninterruptable power supply...more

Federal Circuit Scrutinizing PTAB Claim Constructions, Emphasizing “Reasonable” in The Broadest Reasonable Interpretation Standard

The Federal Circuit recently reversed the PTAB’s cancellation of a patent directed to point-to-point communications in a dynamically addressed network. Sipnet EU S.R.O. has challenged U.S. Patent No. 6,108,704 held by...more

Legal Trends: Intellectual Property

The previous federal government committed Canada to sweeping changes to the legislation and regulations governing virtually every category of intellectual property in the country. Some of these changes have largely already...more

Legal Issues Raised by the Driverless Vehicle Revolution: Part 1

Fueled by the high-profile efforts of technology giants like Google, major manufacturers like General Motors and Tesla, and new auto industry entrants like Uber and Apple, the driverless car revolution is here. Tomorrow’s...more

Intellectual Property Newsletter - November/December 2015

The State of Patent Law: The Interplay of Recent, Pending, and Proposed Changes - Recent developments in the field of patent law have given weight to the old adage that the only thing that is constant is change. Enacted...more

A Snapshot of University Patent Litigation

As patent litigation overall has grown rapidly since 2010, the industry has also seen a shift in some traditionally litigation averse players. University tech transfer organizations in particular have increased their filings...more

Preemption Challenge to State Demand-Letter Regulations Confers Jurisdiction Under Post-AIA 35 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(1) - Vermont v....

Addressing jurisdictional issues, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit relied on post-AIA 35 U.S.C. § 1295(a)(1) to exercise, for the first time, jurisdiction over an appeal in which only a counterclaim arose...more

Pigs Fly, Hell Has Frozen Over, and the New York Times Supports Small Inventor and University Patenting

Admittedly, only on its Op-Ed page. But last Saturday Joe Nocera wrote a remarkably sane and reasoned column, entitled "The Patent Troll Smokescreen," pointing out that "big companies with large lobbying budgets" are using...more

The Supreme Court to Review Enhanced Damages -- Octane Revisited, or Something Entirely Different?

On October 19, 2015, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in two related cases: Halo Electronics, Inc. v. Pulse Electronics, Inc. (Supreme Court docket number 14-1513) and Stryker Corp. v. Zimmer, Inc. (Supreme Court docket...more

U.S. Supreme Court Allows Disparate-Impact Claims Under Fair Housing Act

In a recent holding, the U.S. Supreme Court determined that discrimination claims under the Fair Housing Act (FHA) may be premised on "disparate impact," meaning that a plaintiff may challenge a practice even if it was not...more

The Suddenly Offensive Claim of Patent Invalidity

At the heart of almost every claim of patent infringement is a battle fought over the validity of the patent at issue. Born out of the idea that an invalid patent cannot be infringed, accused infringers have defended...more

Federal Circuit Confirms Laches Remains Available in Patent Infringement Actions

Laches is an equitable defense based on a plaintiff’s unreasonable delay in pursuing a claim. In 2014, the Supreme Court effectively eliminated the laches defense in copyright cases, ruling that the copyright statute allows...more

"Florida Patent Litigation: A Popular Venue for Patentees (Not Just Retirees)

Florida has been one of the busiest locations for patent cases for the past few years, with both the U.S. District Courts for the Southern and Middle Districts of Florida each regularly landing in the top 10 out of the 94...more

Filing Serial Lawsuits for Nuisance Settlements May Be “Exceptional” if Improper Intent Established - SFA Systems, LLC v. Newegg,...

In considering a district court’s denial of attorneys’ fees in view of the Supreme Court’s Octane Fitness standard for finding an “exceptional case” under 35 U.S.C. § 285 (IP Update Vol. 17, No. 5), the U.S. Court of Appeals...more

Attorneys' Fees May be Easier to Obtain in Lanham Act Cases Post-Octane Fitness

Intellectual property litigation is expensive for both the plaintiff and defendant. However, because defendants are required to defend themselves in a lawsuit—in comparison to a plaintiff who has the choice to file and...more

Supreme Court Ruling Encourages Courts to Award Attorney's Fees

Have you ever wished you could make the abusive party on the other side of your patent suit pay for your attorney's fees? The U.S. Supreme Court has made your wish a reality. Recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent has made it...more

Controlling the $7 Billion Patent Troll Litigation Machine

Nearly $7 billion: that is the projected cost of litigation filed by non-practicing entities, or patent trolls, in 2015. A recent report by Unified Patents revealed that patent case filings are expected to surpass 6,100 this...more

Federal Circuit Affirms Unpatentability in Much Anticipated First Review of CBM Decision

Since the America Invents Act (AIA) passed in 2012, Covered Business Method (CBM) reviews have become the Sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of non-practicing entities, also referred to as patent trolls. Many CBM...more

Update: Patent Trolls Are Targeting the Energy Industry

New data shows a sharp increase in the number of patent troll lawsuits being filed against energy companies in 2015. As we predicted in our March 2014 White Paper, “Are Patent Trolls Now Targeting the Energy...more

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