Supreme Court makes it less desirable for patent trolls to sue

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in a pair of cases which will enable companies who win patent lawsuits to more easily collect fees from the filer. The rulings are aimed at non-practicing entities, also known as “patent trolls,” and are aimed at recovering expenses from cases with little or no merit. The ruling by the supreme court calls for “material inappropriate content” of “objectively baseless” claims be grounds for a finding for a reimbursement of the defendant’s legal fees and other costs.

Patent trolls will have to add a new variable to their calculations before pursuing a marginal lawsuit over their intellectual property: The other side’s legal fees. In a decision today, the U.S. Supreme Court freed judges to impose fees on the losers in patent litigation for more than the most egregious cases of misconduct. In Octane Fitness v. ICON and a companion case, the high court held that previous decisions by the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit — the specialized court for patent appeals — had imposed standards that went far beyond what Congress intended when it added a “loser pays” provision  to the patent code. The court also reduced the Federal Circuit’s ability to overturn fee awards by lower-court judges.

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