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December 15th, 2013

U.S. Solicitor General Weighs in on Patent Troll Case, Urging SCOTUS to Grant Certiorari

The U.S. Solicitor General’s office has weighed in on a closely-watched patent case —  Limelight v. Akamai  –  and its brief could spell trouble for patent trolls.  The Solicitor General’s office very wisely and prudently urged the Supreme Court to grant certiorari in the matter, and restore some sanity to the Federal Circuit majority’s questionable ruling on “methods” patent litigation.  ATRA agrees – the Supreme Court should take the case and carefully consider the Solicitor General’s brief, which aims to calm the already troubled waters of patent law.

Last August, a 6-5 en banc ruling in the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals greatly increased liability for companies using steps within patented multi-step “methods” by aggregating all users of steps in a “method” – regardless of legal control between users – and finding the companies to be in breach of the entire patented “method.” The holding completely erased decades of clear, settled law and opened the floodgates to new lawsuit filings from patent trolls against actual productive companies.

The Constitutional marching order for our patent system is “to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts.” Such a holding could hardly be deemed “progress” or “useful” – unless you’re a patent troll.

For additional background on the case, see our December 9th post  on the case.

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