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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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  • Wait, what? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ThisIsSaei ( 2397758 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @11:56AM (#37033522)
    So, Apple can sue over patents, and the RIAA can extort money, but if you combine the two it's suddenly over the line? Don't get me wrong, this guy had it coming, but let's not pretend that somehow the issue of patent trolling and extortion is being dealt with on any decent level. Had this guy worked for any large company, he'd be in the clear.
  • Re:It is very rare. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Oxford_Comma_Lover ( 1679530 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @12:20PM (#37033840)

    It's about as hard as it is to get a doctor to say another doctor is completely wrong. Industries that purport to self-regulate generally don't.

    Bar discipline mostly only occurs in two cases: drug and alcohol related problems and stealing from clients. Lying to the bar during the application process can also screw you. That's about it.

  • by Artraze ( 600366 ) on Tuesday August 09, 2011 @12:46PM (#37034132)

    > But it shouldn't.

    But why not? It seems quite reasonable for parties to be allowed to come to an agreement without having to be involved in a court case. After all, it's pretty much fact that court cases (vs fair agreements) only benefit lawyers. What they could strike down is the ability to offer settlements prior to filing a case and proper judicial review to determine if the case has merit. _That_ would be a big step forward and really eliminate all of the 'extortion' aspects. Beyond that though, you're really only tying up the courts, with, I'm supposing, the expectation that it would decrease the rate at which these sort of cases occur. Would that really be better though? Perhaps, but I think that's trowing out the baby with the bath water... Settlements are still useful for non-extortion type cases.

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