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July 23rd, 2013

Nebraska Joins Vermont in Overdue Crackdown on Patent ‘Trolls’

Nebraska has become the second state, joining Vermont, to crack down on so-called “patent trolls” with state consumer protection laws as officials work to thwart alleged shakedowns of productive companies by the parasitic trolls.

As reported by Litigation Daily, “Nebraska Attorney General Jon Bruning [last] Thursday ordered  Texas law firm Farney Daniels to stop its pursuit of any new patent  infringement enforcement efforts on behalf of accused ‘trolls’ within the state,  pending the outcome of an investigation by his office.”

Earlier this year, “Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell brought a civil lawsuit against MPHJ Technology Investments LLC, accusing the company of violating Vermont consumer protection laws by making deceptive claims to businesses in patent licensing demand letters. MPHJ has asserted patents that cover the common process of using a scanner to make PDF documents, mostly targeting small and medium-sized businesses. The company is represented by Farney Daniels — the same law firm now being investigated by the state of  Nebraska.”

Meanwhile, Reuters reports that Congress is inching toward anti-troll federal legislation.  Our fingers are crossed.

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