Trolls Face Expensive Legal Battle To Prove Inapplicability of State Laws
When a patent troll asserts a patent claim of questionable merit against a defendant, the defendant is faced with two options: 1) fight a very expensive and time consuming legal battle to prove the correctness of their invalidity/non-infringement position; or 2) fold up tents and go home— minus a significant license fee. In a case of poetic justice, state attorney general’s (AGs) are now playing the same game to stop this business model. That is, state AGs are suing trolls, or initiating investigation of their business practices under state consumer protection statutes. In doing so, the AGs are daring the trolls to wage an expensive legal battle against them to prove them wrong, or pay fines and go home.
While there would seem to be some question as to the propriety of these state law actions in matters of exclusive federal law jurisdiction, interest is growing around the country as to this new anti-troll tactic. See the new Vermont statute (here) and Nebraska investigation of a Texas plaintiff firm (here).