Preempting Patent Reform

By Dennis Crouch

Despite his support for gun control laws, President Obama has been a major driver of American gun sales. The theory is that folks have been buying guns them now before the President limits their sale. A similar rush appears to have been going on in patent litigation. In particular, an informally proposed amendment to the Senate patent reform bill distributed last weekend includes a clause for retroactive application – naming April 24 as the effective date of the attorney fee shifting provisions, regardless of when the bill becomes law.

(c) RETROACTIVITY – the amendments made by this subsection shall take effect on April 24, 2014, and shall also apply to any action for which a complaint is filed on or after that effective date.

The result: an unusually large number of infringement lawsuits were filed on April 23, 2014 to ensure that the new law will not be applicable. In particular, about 180 new infringement lawsuits were filed on the 23rd, more than five times the daily average. I wonder how those defendants like patent reform?

39 thoughts on “Preempting Patent Reform

  1. I think the results are distorted by a couple of groups of suits by two plaintiff firms. One in particular, Austin Hansley, was prolific on April 23 — but was also prolific on April 24. And is likely ignorant was what is in the current Senate bill.

    1. From the website: Austin Hansley P.L.L.C. is conveniently located near the Federal Courts in the Eastern District of Texas which have arguably been the most plaintiff-friendly court for patent litigation and as a result one of the most popular venues to file a patent infringement suit. Venue in the Eastern District is popular for plaintiffs because judges in the Eastern District of Texas are more likely to defer to juries on questions of patent validity and infringement. It is thus much harder for defendants to win on judgment as a matter of law, such as by summary judgment or motion to dismiss. Additionally, juries are thought to be more inclined towards large verdicts. This creates a very undesirable double edged sword for defendants litigating in the Eastern District.

      We have successfully litigated patent infringement cases against some of the largest companies in the world, such as Microsoft, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Lenovo, Vizio, Mary Kay and many more.

      Shorter Austin Hansley: “We are grifting bottom-feeders, and darn proud of it. That’s why live in East Texas.”

      1. The idea that patents are the deep in the realm of racketeers and parasites is now highly embedded in all levels of our popular culture, and the ineffectual whining and gnashing about innovation and rules-of-law and intellectual honesty from the holdout sophists won’t change that.

        The patent assertion bar has gloriously succeeded in displacing ambulance chasers and bag-men as the most dishonorable specie of lawyer, and that’s saying something. I’d estimate software patents alone are the now among the greatest economic rackets in the history of humankind, if you define racket as instances of involuntary transfers of wealth without moral justification.

        1. from the holdout sophists

          Talk about your echo chambers….

          LOL – Hey Marty, you have have that chat with your attorney?

          1. Yes, but she forbids me to characterize her statements to third parties.

            IMO, she is willing and quite able to kick IBM’s ass on this travesty of a case. Too bad its gonna cost somebody a million bucks to end up on the right side of a verdict. Rule of law and all.

            1. That’s nice – but did you understand the legal items that you have in the past exhibited serious misunderstandings with?

              That was the point of my asking you to talk with your counsel. Your views were so very off, that no reasonable attorney reading what you wrote could say that any consent from you to take any action would qualify as informed consent.

    2. Looks like close to 200 cases filed in the Eastern District of Texas alone in the last two days.

      ROTFLMAO. I can hardly wait to see how Quinn spins the numbers. He was doing cannonballs in the pool over that January dip, and his weak attempt at spinning was echoed widely by his patent fluffin’ friends.

      1. LOL – the most spin (as usual) was by Malcolm, and yet another one of his AOOTWMDs is presented here.

        Have you asked Lex Machina yet for the new data? Why not?

  2. “a unusually large number of infringement lawsuits were filed on April 23, 2014 ”

    RESULT — some ‘patent expert’ professor who never wrote (or read, for that matter) a patent application in his/her life (and of course the mainstream press) will make a graph with the ‘number of infringement suits’ EXPLODING — the number of patent infringement suits increased 800% between 2013 and 2014 — EMERGENCY — the problem is ‘exploding’ and costing the US economy $30 trillion !! (no need to rigorously justify the number — just write the word ‘professor’ next to the number — and present it as a ‘graph’)

    1. some ‘patent expert’ professor who never wrote (or read, for that matter) a patent application in his/her life (and of course the mainstream press) will make a graph with the ‘number of infringement suits’ EXPLODING

      Contrast this prediction with what the patent teabaggers actually did when presented with one month of relatively low numbers, where that month has had the lowest numbers of filings/year every year since 2007.

      Patent teabaggers = ignorant greedy hypocrites who will and say anything if it sounds pleasing in the echo chamber

      1. hypocrites who will and say anything if it sounds pleasing in the echo chamber

        LOL – yet another lovely AOOTWMD.

  3. Owning a boat is more dangerous than owning a gun. Look it up.

    Prescriptions painkillers are involved in more suicides than guns. Look it up.

  4. Great news here for innovators in Internet broadcasting and believers in the right to communicate information without restraint by junk patents:

    link to rainnews.com

    The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a kind of sheriff’s office for civil liberties on the Internet, has received an encouraging ruling from a government office that regulates patent reviews. The judgment clears the way for the EFF to challenge the validity of a controversial lawsuit against podcaster Adam Carrola and other podcast publishers

    Best part of the PTAB decision to proceed:

    Patent Owner further argues that in December 1993, when the trial of
    Patrick/CBC was conducted, adequate technology did not exist to download
    files as claimed. Contrary to Patent Owner’s argument, however, Patrick/CBC identifies the technology used to prepare, download, and play audio files. That it was not as fast or capable as later developed technology does not appear to be relevant to the claims

    link to eff.org

    LOL — so much for the “computers were invented yesterday” gambit. Somehow the PTO does seem to “get it” when someone is there to hold its hand.

  5. I wonder how those defendants like patent reform?

    Presumably these are cases that were otherwise “in the works.”

    To the extent any of these filings were rushed to meet the deadline and, as a result, are frivolous garbage that will be dismissed even more quickly than would otherwise happen and are more deserving of sanctions than they otherwise would be, the named defendants might be very pleased indeed.

      1. Sounds like you do not practice.

        Hmm. Sounds like you’re a sad troll-huggin’ clown trying desperately to change the subject.

        1. A Plaintiff in a civil case can voluntarily dismiss the case at any time prior to jury verdict. This might be done if the case does not seem to be going well and the Plaintiff does not wish to risk losing.

        2. A judge can dismiss a case. This might be the result of an order on a pre-answer motion, such as a motion to dismiss.

        Seems to me that a desperate bottom-feeding patent troll who hires some associate who graduated from some crap Texas law school with a JD in “business administration” or “American history” to prepare and file a hundred or more complaints in a short period of time is likely to make a few mistakes here and there. You know, mistakes like sueing people who aren’t infringing and such. Or sueing people on patents that are plainly invalid junk to anyone who isn’t habitually huffing the “presumed valid” spraypaint.

        All we need to do is just sit back and watch the proceedings to find out what happens. Shall we look at some of the asserted claims?

        1. Or sueing people on patents that are plainly invalid junk to anyone who isn’t habitually huffing the “presumed valid” spraypaint.

          plainly invalid…

          Because Malcolm the RQ/HD has says so, dabnit gumby.

  6. DC about 180 new infringement lawsuits were filed on the 23rd, more than five times the daily average.

    That’s almost half the number that was filed in the infamous month of January 2014. Are the March 2014 numbers floating out there?

  7. Huh, I wondered what happened there. When you look at the folks who filed the most, they are companies whose only real business is suing people and whose top search results are litigation alerts:
    * Signal IP
    * Joao Bock / Joao Control
    * Selene Communication
    * eDekka
    * InMotion Imagery
    * TQP Development
    * PanTaurus
    * Quxuz (a name, I’m pretty just meant to be impossible to type)
    * c4cast.com
    * CYVA Research Holdings

    It’s really shameful.

    1. Scumbags.

      Of course, they’re not terribly different from the ignorami who stockpile weapons because they believe the Great Usurper is going to take away their precious freedums. And in alot of cases, it’s probably the identical people.

      Remember, folks, “Mr. Girard is exactly what the founding fathers had in mind when they penned the Patent Clause in the basic Article I of the U.S. Constitution.” link to techdirt.com

      Just as funny now as it was then. Actually it’s even funnier now that we’ve gotten to know all these patent trolls so much more intimately.

      1. And in alot of cases, it’s probably the identical people.

        LOL – because they are all the money-grubbing 1%ers, um right, Malcolm?

        1. No, it’s because it’s the same deluded tools who tend to use terms like “the gestapo” to refer to the USPTO, the IRS, and/or the Bureau of Land Management when someone dares to suggest that maybe the tools in question don’t deserve the property/wealth that they’ve taken (or are trying to take) from the public.

          And they invariably invoke “the Founders” and try to wrap themselves up in some red, white and blue “principle” when, in reality, it’s really just about their own greed, their paranoid fantasies, and a giant heaping plateful of cable TV/talk radio ignorance and self-delusion.

          [I knew I could count on the Cliven Bundy of Patent Law to ask that question!]

          1. His AOOTWMD only intensifies his actual lack of posting anything of substantive law or unspun facts, thus when he tries to make a point, he just cannot get out of the way of his own vapidness.

            Must be that “swagger”

          2. MM, I don’t know much about the Bundy case except that the Bureau of land management seized 500 of his cattle because he refused to pay the appropriate fee for a grazing permit. It might be more complicated than that but that’s all I know about the dispute.

            But history shows us that when the government begins to seize one’s property, they can cause the people to rebel. That’s what happened in Massachusetts in 1786:

            link to en.wikipedia.org

            1. the Bureau of land management seized 500 of his cattle because he refused to pay the appropriate fee for a grazing permit. It might be more complicated than that

              It’s not more complicated. Bundy is a mental defect who doesn’t “believe” in the Federal government. Put a fork in the guy. Joe the Plumber. Joe the Rancher. Who’s next? Joe the Inventor, demanding that the Federal government keep its hands off his patent rights? Wouldn’t surprise me.

              That’s what happened in Massachusetts in 1786:

              And afterwards. And then in stepped our beloved “Founders.”

              link to media.mtvnservices.com

        2. Anon, it is safer not to look reactionary troglodytes in the eye – or to respond to their deluded knuckle-dragging agitprop on the Internet. Best to just ignore their drool.

            1. Before he begins drinking – my guess would be that such times are filled with Malcolm loathing who he is.

              He really should get into a profession in which he can believe in the work product produced.

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