Defense of Patent Infringement Against Patent Troll

Members of the intellectual property litigation group successfully resolved a patent infringement suit filed by a prolific patent troll in the online retail industry against our client, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of outdoor camping gear. In early 2013, the troll filed a series of patent infringement suits against our client and a group of similarly situated online retailers in the Eastern District of Texas asserting patents claiming web-based technology related to online product brochures. The troll had successfully asserted the same patents against a car company in a related case filed several years earlier, obtaining an $11.6 million dollar jury verdict that was affirmed on all counts by the Federal Circuit. The troll leveraged the earlier verdict to extort six and seven figure settlements from more than 150 subsequent defendants. The troll attempted to do the same to our client and its co-defendants; however, our defense team in coordination with the joint defense group formulated a novel invalidity argument to contest the validity and enforceability of the asserted patents, which proved to be a game changer in the ongoing settlement discussions. The defense group filed a 12(c) motion challenging the troll’s patents based on ineligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Upon filing of this motion, the troll’s settlement demands significantly decreased in the face of the novel challenge to its patent portfolio. Our team ultimately negotiated a settlement on behalf of our client for a fraction of the troll’s original settlement demand.

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