11.03.15

EFF Asks CAFC to Tackle the Trolls’ Docket, the Eastern District of Texas

Posted in America, Patents at 2:29 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) asks the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) to do something about the capital of patent trolls, which have become symptomatic of the problems with the US patent system

THE USPTO has become notorious for many reasons, one of which is its role in producing a plethora of patent trolls, equipped with software patents. Texas too has become notorious for many reasons (education quality, police brutality, gun crime etc.) but one that is relevant to us pertains to patent trolls as well. The Eastern District of Texas is unique in this regard because it’s now known as the capital of patent trolls and very little apart from that. There is already an international reputation for this.

According to this recent article, the EFF asks for a shutdown of this trolls’ docket because almost nothing but patent trolls comes from/to there anyway. To quote one of the earliest articles on this subject:

The Electronic Frontier Foundation and Public Knowledge have asked a federal appeals court to make big changes to the rules governing venue in patent cases. The two public interest groups are seeking to file an amicus brief (PDF) which attacks the Eastern District of Texas as being one of the “most notorious situations of forum shopping in recent history.”

The opportunity came up in a case where an Indiana company called TC Heartland was sued by Kraft Foods for infringing three Kraft patents on “liquid water enhancers.” Kraft sued TC Heartland in Delaware; TC Heartland asked the judge for a transfer to Indiana, but was shot down.

TC Heartland has appealed the venue decision to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which handles all patent appeals. It’s asking the court to overturn entirely a 1990 case that has made it easy for patent holders to sue in just about any district they choose.

The US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit is itself part of the problem. Asking it to remark on or reform the Eastern District of Texas is perhaps wishful thinking.

Mike from TechDirt remarked as follows: “It’s been nearly ten years since we first wrote about the East Texas district court, based in Marshall, Texas, (and Tyler, Texas) and the fact that patent trolls have been flooding that court with cases. The trolls claimed they liked East Texas because the judges worked quickly and because they “understood” patent issues. The reality, of course, is that East Texas became notorious for a few judges who were insanely pro-patent troll, and ran their cases in a manner that helped out trolls immensely. It’s become a cottage industry, leading to some weird situations, such as the time that Tivo (involved in a patent lawsuit at the time) literally bought a bull right in Marshall, Texas. Perhaps no company has “invested” more in winning over folks in Marshall than Samsung, which not only sponsored the local ice rink, but also gives scholarships to high schoolers there, donates to local schools and takes kids on semiconductor factory tours — all out of the kindness of its corporate heart, no doubt.”

Whether the EFF succeeds here or not, it sure helps raise awareness of a problem that cannot and will not be ignored. Here in Europe, where the EPO already perturbs patent laws, patent trolls gradually nest and even attack.

Share in other sites/networks: These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages.
  • Reddit
  • email

This post is also available in Gemini over at:

gemini://gemini.techrights.org/2015/11/03/eastern-district-of-texas/

If you liked this post, consider subscribing to the RSS feed or join us now at the IRC channels.

Pages that cross-reference this one

What Else is New


  1. Lots of Information in Sight, But Minimal Distraction

    How I keep focused on reading and writing whilst at the same time keeping an eye on important incidents, such as DDOS attacks and urgent messages coming in



  2. IRC Proceedings: Friday, April 16, 2021

    IRC logs for Friday, April 16, 2021



  3. Hate Letter Against FSF (Concern Trolls): 1415 Committers, Letter in Support of FSF (With Its Founder Back): 5116

    Taking into account people who asked for their names to be removed from the defamatory hate letter (inciting people, based on falsehoods), it's not impossible that the support letter really triples or quadruples it in terms of number of signatures



  4. Richard Stallman: Sharing is Good... We Need to Legalise It

    Dr. Richard Stallman, the Free Software Foundation's founder, explains his take on copyright and the artificial restriction being used against sharing



  5. Nadine Strossen and Hannah Wolfman-Jones Rebut Accusations Against Stallman and Choose Him as Coauthor

    "Here are her thoughts and the response she received from Nadine, extracted verbatim with their permission from the original article"



  6. Links 17/4/2021: GNOME 40 in Tumbleweed, Devuan 4.0 Alpha, Kate Editor Makes a Leap

    Links for the day



  7. EPO Staff Union Takes the EPO 'to Court' (the ILO's Tribunal, as the EPO Cannot be Taken to a Proper Court)

    The Staff Union of the EPO (SUEPO) Committees are preparing a legal battle over unlawful and unjust measures taken collectively against hard-working (overworked during pandemic) members of staff; the European public should support them



  8. The Latest Anti-RMS Coup Attempt Targets the GNU Project (Because the FSF Coup Has Clearly Failed) by Infringing and Disregarding Trademark Conventions

    A fake "GNU" (not the original GNU, just riding the coattails of the name "GNU") is trying to find/gain traction and we must oppose it because it's an extension of the very same coup attempt (same plotters) that manufactured a whole bunch of libel to incite people and blackmail the Free Software Foundation (FSF)



  9. Links 16/4/2021: Mozilla Dumping FTP, Corporations Still Concern-Trolling FSF

    Links for the day



  10. The EFF Attacks Software Freedom and Promotes Fake Privacy Linked to Microsoft

    Only weeks after attacking Software Freedom (the ad hominem way, which is easier) the EFF endorses a Microsoft-linked privacy abuse, misframing it as some sort of privacy champion



  11. Richard Stallman on How Corporate Media Limits What People Are Allowed to Think and Say (Updated)

    What the founder of the FSF told yours truly a number of years ago about the behaviour of corporate (funded and controlled by corporations) media



  12. Exposing Hard Truths is the First Step or the Path Towards Justice

    A reflection and a moment taken to set aside tribalism (shallow differences based on allegiances of personal comfort), for we need look back at actual facts — however inconvenient at times — and consider the reality of the situation



  13. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, April 15, 2021

    IRC logs for Thursday, April 15, 2021



  14. [Meme] Laundering Bribes as 'Cooperation Money'

    Germany has financial interest in ensuring that EPO abuses carry on and nobody holds the EPO accountable



  15. Articles in Support of Richard Stallman

    Reproduced with permission



  16. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 20: Taking Stock

    Benoît Battistelli's legacy at the EPO is a legacy of corruption and cover-up; we take stock of how illegality was defended and persists to this day



  17. Links 15/4/2021: Zorin OS 16 Beta and Pushing Linux to GitHub- and Microsoft-Connected Rust

    Links for the day



  18. [Meme] Enemies With Common Interests

    The Software Freedom Movement (or Free Software Movement) has many enemies; some of them just hide in the shadows or speak out through shadowy front groups/NGOs that they semi-officially sponsor



  19. [Meme] Germany's Red Cash Cow

    EPO brings a lot of money to the German state. But at what cost to citizens and Germany’s public image?



  20. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 19: The Deafening Silence of the Media

    "There has been speculation that Maas might have had his own political interest in protecting Battistelli and the Balkan Express because of certain allegations about financial irregularities involving the German Patents and Trademark Office (DPMA) which were doing the rounds at the time."



  21. The Indirection Game

    How to attack institutions and concepts by personifying them, then proceeding to character assassination based on lies and deliberate distortions



  22. Links 15/4/2021: LXQt 0.17, Proxmox Backup Server 1.1

    Links for the day



  23. The Patent Battles in Europe Are Connected to the War on GNU/Linux (as a Community-Led Effort)

    Monoplisers of GNU and Linux want us to think that OIN is the solution while they actively lobby for software patents in Europe and the people in charge of Europe’s second-largest institution and Europe’s largest patent office help them; this long video contains thoughts about news from the past couple of days



  24. Richard Stallman: Freedom is the Goal (Updated)

    What Richard Stallman (RMS) told me in person on his trip here



  25. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, April 14, 2021

    IRC logs for Wednesday, April 14, 2021



  26. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 18: Zero Tolerance for “Lawless Zones”?

    "It comes as no surprise that Maas appeared as a guest of honour at the European Inventor of the Year Boondoggle in Berlin in 2014 where he was seen on stage clapping along with the EPO President."



  27. Richard Stallman's Honors and Awards (and Why He Resigned in 2019)

    Reproduced with permission



  28. Links 14/4/2021: Alpine Releases and X.Org Server 1.20.11 Release (Security)

    Links for the day



  29. Links 14/4/2021: EasyOS Dunfell 2.7, Tor Browser 10.5a14

    Links for the day



  30. EPOLeaks on Misleading the Bundestag -- Part 17: Jawohl, Herr Minister!

    A French-German co-production of "Yes, Minister!" starring Raimund Lutz, Heiko Maas and Christoph Ernst. Directed by Benoît Battistell.


RSS 64x64RSS Feed: subscribe to the RSS feed for regular updates

Home iconSite Wiki: You can improve this site by helping the extension of the site's content

Home iconSite Home: Background about the site and some key features in the front page

Chat iconIRC Channel: Come and chat with us in real time

Recent Posts