LOCAL LEGAL WATCHDOG PRAISES CORNYN PROPOSAL
TO REIN IN FRIVOLOUS PATENT LAWSUITS
Longview, TX- East Texans Against Lawsuit Abuse (ETALA) today praised U.S. Senator John Cornyn for filing the Patent Abuse Reduction Act, a measure that will crack down on frivolous patent legislation.
“This proposal is a breath of fresh air for East Texas,” said Diane Davis, executive director of ETALA. “Patent trolls have abused our local courts for years, and we are thrilled to see our leaders take this issue seriously and offer real solutions that Texans should support.”
Patent trolls do exactly as their name implies: they aggressively file lawsuits to enforce a patent against an alleged infringer, often with no intention to use the patent to manufacture or market the product themselves. Their targets are often innovative and successful companies, and the lawsuits typically result in a huge pay out for the patent troll while costing jobs and saddling local courts with frivolous lawsuits.
Davis noted that excessive patent litigation in Texas’ Marshall Division earned East Texas a spot on Watch List of the 2011/2012 Judicial Hellholes report from the American Tort Reform Association. The annual report identifies “Judicial Hellholes” across the country where the laws are applied in an unfair and unbalanced manner.
The report called the Eastern District court in Marshall the “center of the patent litigation universe” noting that between 2002 and 2010, the district saw nearly a ten-fold increase in patent filings.
The Cornyn legislation should put an end to some of the more common tactics that patent trolls employ to wear down their victims to the point that settling out of court becomes preferable to drawn-out, costly litigation. For example, it would force plaintiffs to spell out their claims in detail from the get-go and prevent them from hiding behind shell companies.
“Cornyn’s proposal should help stem the tide of frivolous patent litigation and put a damper on abusive patent trolls,” Davis said. “We should support this important legislation for the future of our East Texas courts, and our reputation.”