Patent Owner History of Abusive Suits Mandates New Fees Look
Intellectual Property Partner Anthony Fuga was quoted in a Bloomberg Law article about the Federal Circuit's recent opinion on abusive suits. A Florida federal court failed to properly consider a patent owner’s history of frivolous litigation when it denied a request for attorneys’ fees from the owner’s latest target, the Federal Circuit said Wednesday in a precedential opinion. “By not addressing the adequate evidence of an abusive pattern of ECT’s litigation, the District Court failed to conduct an adequate inquiry and so abused its discretion,” the federal appeals court said. The patent owner, Electronic Communication Technologies LLC, sent boilerplate demand letters and sued numerous defendants seeking quick settlements, according to court documents. Attorneys said the Federal Circuit’s ruling is a cautionary tale for companies that use similar tactics.
“If your business model is suing as many companies as you can, and then immediately seeking a quick settlement to avoid the merits, I would be really hesitant,” said Mr. Fuga.
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