Newest forms of attack against patent NPES

Paul J. Sutton

A great deal has been written concerning patent non-practising entities, also commonly referred to as patent assertion entities and by the pejorative label ‘patent trolls’

The percentage of US patent infringement litigation initiated by NPEs has now risen to levels exceeding half of all patent litigation initiated in the US. This has fuelled outrage and expressions of despair from newer quarters, in addition to the traditional outspoken segments of the business community. New fronts are opening in the war against NPEs.

In a first of its kind, one of the latest parties to launch an attack on NPEs is the State of Vermont. The state’s attorney general, Bill Sorrell, announced the May 8, 2013 initiation of a lawsuit by the state against MPHJ Technology Investments LLC, alleging that the defendant had violated the Vermont Consumer Protection Act by sending misleading letters to small businesses demanding compensation for alleged patent infringement of US Patents Nos. 7,986,426 and 6,771,381.

The ’426 patent, which names Laurence C. Klein of Silver Spring, Maryland as the inventor, is entitled ‘Distributed Computer Architecture and Process for Document Management’, and was granted on July 26, 2011. The ’381 patent, granted on August 3, 2004, also names Klein as the inventor, and is entitled ‘Distributed Computer Architecture and Process for Virtual Copying’.

Patent trolls, NPEs, FTC, Obama, patent,