Shift court fees away from innocent parties

Problem

Both the winner and loser in a patent suit almost always pay their owns fees and costs, which can total well into the millions of dollars if the case actually goes to trial. Because the potential costs are so high and there is no way to recover those costs, defendants will often settle to avoid hefty legal bills – even if they have a strong legal case that they never infringed on the patent or the patent was invalid to begin with.

Solution

Patent law should allow for the winning party, in cases where it was easy to see that the patent was invalid or there was no infringement, to obtain its fees and costs. If the trolls know they could be on the hook for that money, they will be less likely to file frivolous lawsuits.

Dan Carr
United States
Posted Jan 27, 2015 2:56 pm
no question about it. I think the PTO should have an quick process to dismiss patent troll cases but the defendants should be entitled to collect more than just attorney costs - especially if the plaintiff is an NPE
up
217 thumbs up.
Steve H
United States
Posted Mar 18, 2015 7:18 pm
  • Academic
  • Software developer / engineer
  • Internet user
By having the loser pay, this could potentially hurt their business, especially if they are a small one or if it's just one inventor standing up to the troll. Legal battles against a company and a NPE can cost millions to fight and even more if the defendant loses. The defendant needs a safe haven when trying to defend itself from an NPE and have the NPE pay all legal fees if they decide to move forward with the lawsuit. Also, if the NPE loses, they should have to pay the defendant for potential loss of R&D. These legal battles can drag on for years on end which causes a halt in innovation for our economy to grow and prosper. In fact, there is currently a 48% decline in R&D spending because of NPE's winning lawsuits. We must take back our innovation by having the NPE pay all costs and have businesses increase their R&D spending without the fear of NPE's getting in the way. This will drive most of the trolls away if they know that they must pay for it all just to win.
up
208 thumbs up.

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steve f
Renton WA
WA
United States
Posted Jun 19, 2012 5:18 pm
  • Software developer / engineer
  • Internet user
The troll should be responsible for all court fees, lawyer costs for the defendant, and any revenue lost if the sales of a product are reduced because of an obviously false infringement claim.
up
544 thumbs up, including yours.
Elijah Lynn
Flemington
NJ
United States
Posted Jun 19, 2012 2:42 pm
  • Software developer / engineer
  • Internet user
I think it should be much more than just legal fees. It should be 10x that to compensate for lost lives. It is very distracting and can affect a companies entire strategy for years to have a lawsuit against you. There should be some sort of multiplier on time spent in court.
up
559 thumbs up, including yours.

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