SEMA eNews Vol. 20, No. 22, June 1, 2017

U.S. Supreme Court Decision Gives “Home Court” Advantage to Patent Troll Defendants

By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that patent troll suits are to be filed in the state in which the alleged infringer is incorporated or has its place of business. Courts had previously allowed patent-infringement suits to be filed in any district where the defendant does business. The ruling should reduce the number of suits that are filed in areas of the country deemed to be friendly forums for the plaintiff. At issue are frivolous lawsuits asserting that a company or individual is infringing a patent. The entity making the assertion is usually seeking licensing fees but not actually manufacturing a product or supplying services. The allegations are frequently associated with common technologies or business practices rather than a single patent. The lawsuits have exploded in recent years costing small and large businesses billions of dollars. Many companies have settled rather than fighting the cases, allowing the patent trolls to secure funds to pursue other parties. 

For more information, contact Daniel Ingber at danieli@sema.org.

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