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Patent Troll Lawyer Sanctioned Over Extortion Tactics 147

An anonymous reader writes "For all the stories of patent trolls and copyright trolls, there haven't been too many stories of either being sanctioned for abusive or extortion-like practices... until now. The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (one level below the Supreme Court) has approved over $600,000 in sanctions against a lawyer for a patent troll, saying that filing over a hundred lawsuits, each of which was followed up almost immediately with offers to settle at fees much cheaper than it would cost to fight, has the 'indicia of extortion.' Now if only judges started doing that more often."
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Patent Troll Lawyer Sanctioned Over Extortion Tactics

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  • Now We Wait ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass ( 838941 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @11:50AM (#37033446)
    This is a Federal Circuit court, so the next (and last) step would be to appeal it to the SCOTUS. Let's hope it gets on the docket so this type of egregious misuser of the legal system (the patent trolls) can get the press coverage only a Supreme Court case can give it.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @11:59AM (#37033564)

    Most patent trolls don't sue entities who "it was clear [] did not infringe on the patents in question". They sue entities who might have infringed on the patents in question, or who definitely infringe on patents that are overly vague and that we think should be invalid, but that USPTO granted and the patent troll holds.

    I predict this court case will mean very little.

  • Exactly (Score:5, Insightful)

    by pavon ( 30274 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @12:12PM (#37033734)

    Given the other 100 defendants settled for the amount they were asking, then Eon-Net made $2.5 - 7.5 million dollars as a result of their trolling. The consequence they had to pay only amounted to 9 to 25 settlements, and it took the defendant $600k to make that happen. Unless it becomes much easier to counter these people, it is still much cheaper to settle, and it is still very profitable for them to continue.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @01:10PM (#37034480)

    Sounds like the issue here is within the court system itself. It should not cost $upteen dollars for a defendant to defend against a "completely meritless" case. The only reason the trolls are making money is because the court system is too slow / too costly to discard the meritless cases quickly.

    What the trolls saying is: I know it will cost you $500k to defend this (baseless) case, so I will go away if you pay me $25k (a year) in extortion fees.

"The eleventh commandment was `Thou Shalt Compute' or `Thou Shalt Not Compute' -- I forget which." -- Epigrams in Programming, ACM SIGPLAN Sept. 1982