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Attorney Fees in Patent Cases:
There is a Middle Ground

American Magazine, by Michael M. Rosen

Original Article

Posted By:EagleBlurst, 6/18/2014 10:33:07 AM

How do we ensure Americans get their “day in court” while also weeding out meritless lawsuits? One often-discussed way is to require the losing party to pay the winning party’s attorney fees, as is common in Britain, Europe, and elsewhere in the world. After all, if a vexatious litigant faces the threat of paying his adversary’s (expensive) lawyer fees, he’ll surely be more circumspect about filing a frivolous case. But automatically awarding attorney fees to the prevailing party, at least in patent cases, would be a grave mistake that would undermine the so-called “American rule” — whereby we’re

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Reply 1 - Posted by: mickturn, 6/18/2014 11:30:30 AM     (No. 9890698)

This is directly related to patent trolls that file for patents on other companies secrets claiming they invented it first. The paperwork drill is huge...

Bottom line, all of these are frivolous and are made only to squeeze money from legititimate companies to get rid of them.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: dvc, 6/18/2014 11:39:41 AM     (No. 9890719)

I patented a small specialty part, and was selling it in small quantities, making under $5K per year. Another company copied the part, and started marketing it. Letters from my patent attorney were greeted with "we have no idea why you thing we are infringing".

The attorney advised that we start legal proceedings, and I should start by paying him $25K as the first installment on an open ended, multi-year effort that MAY yield triple damages, but could cost $100K or more. So, three times my small profit in a year, which would never come near the cost of the lawsuit.

For most people, the patent laws are entirely worthless the way they stand.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: dman, 6/18/2014 12:27:46 PM     (No. 9890816)

Those who have experience like #1 and #2 know that this "barrister´s" take is baloney. (BTW: Rosen should look up the distinction between a barrister and a solicitor/attorney.) The patent trolls are always looking for ways to extort cash from legitimate inventors: corporate and individuals on both sides of the issue. Most corporations simply pay off the troll, while individuals often face bankruptcy or selling out to a corporation with deeper pockets.

Lining the pockets of attorneys is not an "American rule" - it´s corruption of the judicial system itself.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: lil dotty, 6/18/2014 2:08:54 PM     (No. 9890985)

If the NFL wants to hit back after being downed 5 inches from the goal, it is a good thing they have deep pockets to fight.

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