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Why Did Patent Trolls File Record Numbers on Monday?
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Trolls do not just hang out under bridges. Photo courtesy of Google.

Summary: Patent trolls filed a record number of lawsuits on the eve of patent reform deadline.

“Patent trolls,” which are people or shell companies whose sole purpose is to demand payments from companies that actually produce goods, had a field day on Monday. They set a record for the most patent lawsuits filed in one day—a whopping 257, the majority of which were filed in Texas.


The patent trolls wanted tolls from big companies like Apple and Airbnb.

CrystalPeak Solutions, one such troll, filed 37 lawsuits. It claimed that companies such as Netflix and Macy’s needed to pay them for using the common internet security protocol, HTTPS.

Plaintiffs filed 196 cases in the District of East Texas, according to Managing Intellectual Property. The area is known to have judges and juries that are plaintiff-friendly.

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Congress proposed patent reform earlier this year, which Managing IP believes is the reason for the spike on Monday, Nov. 30. The reform requires showing plausibility and is intended to make patent complaints similar to other federal lawsuits. Since the reform did not go live until Dec. 1, trolls rushed to file their claims before that deadline.

Michael Loney of Managing IP said, “This rush of patent case filing appears to be the result of entities looking to beat the stricter standard.”

Forbes reports that patent reform is overall stalling. Congress and the House of Representatives supported the proposed laws in the spring, but hedge fund manager Kyle Bass and patent troll Eric Spangenberg are holding up the process. The two men are attacking drug patents and lowering companies’ stock prices, which has resulted in controversy that many lawmakers do not want to go near.

Additionally, those battling patent trolls are closely watching a lawsuit that would shut down Texas as a patent lawsuit destination. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and Public Knowledge (PK) filed an amicus brief to overturn a 1990 case that made it easy to file patent lawsuits in any district the patent holder wanted.


The king of patent trolls, Eric Spangenberg, brings fear into the hearts of corporations. Photo courtesy of New York Times.




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