Beware of Trolls!
“Patent trolling” is the process of filing a claim of patent infringement against an entity, despite the fact that the claimant does not manufacture or supply the product or service in question. Patent trolls often file claims in bad faith, hoping that the company being sued decides to settle in order to avoid expensive litigation costs.
While patent law is traditionally a federal issue, in May 2013, Vermont became the first state to pass legislation to attempt to halt patent trolling. Vermont’s statute allows victims of patent trolling to sue in state court if the claim was made in bad faith. If the countersuit is successful, the patent troll has to pay court costs and fees accrued by the victim in addition to other damages. Since the passage of Vermont’s bill, seventeen other states have passed similar legislation.
PLEASE NOTE: The summaries should be used for general informational purposes and not as a legal reference. NCSL is unable to answer questions or provide guidance to citizens or businesses regarding patent laws and practices. If you have questions regarding the application of a state law to a specific patent infringement letter, please contact the Office of the Attorney General in your state.
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