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February 25th, 2011

Judge Rules Exploited ‘Patent Marking’ Law Unconstitutional

Though his ruling will likely be appealed by plaintiffs’ lawyers or their allies at the Department of Justice, U.S. District Judge Dan Aaron Polster in Ohio has ruled unconstitutional the so-called false marking law which has recently been exploited in a new wave of lawsuits that could bankrupt many consumer product manufacturers and kill countless jobs.

A federal court ruling in August 2010 allowed private citizens, not just the attorney general, to bring lawsuits against companies whose products displayed expired patent numbers.   More than 700 such suits have been opportunistically filed since, so Judge Polster’s ruling is encouraging to the dozens of companies that have been tageted.

The Wall Street Journal continues to provide oustanding coverage of this developing story, and it reports that Congress is expected to amend the law soon, limiting manaufacturers liability.  Of course, the litigation industry is among the most influential special interests plying Captiol Hill lawmakers with campaign cash, so thank goodness in the meantime for Judge Polster.  He ruled, essentially, that the false marking law takes away too much power from the federal government and puts it in the hands of private entities.  And regular Hellholes readers know that private entities of this ilk are often less interested in justice than they are in parasitically enriching themsleves.

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