Friday, June 27, 2014

Wrongful Patent Enforcement

Florian Mueller recently published an interesting post on Samsung's effort to enforce a preliminary injunction bond against Apple.  The matter relates to a preliminary injunction that was entered against Samsung in 2012 and subsequently vacated, after the jury in the 2012 Apple v. Samsung trial before Judge Koh concluded that the specific patent in suit was not infringed.  His post raises the broader topic of "wrongful patent enforcement," which he states "will increasingly be on the agenda in some major smartphone patent disputes."  

This is a topic that I have become increasingly interested in as well.   In addition to questions of wrongful enforcement that may arise in the smartphone wars, the topic is also relevant to, among other things, the various efforts underway in the U.S. to try to curb lawsuits filed by patent trolls.  A few years ago, Christopher Heath published an insightful paper titled Wrongful Patent Enforcement--Threats and Post-Infringement Invalidity in Comparative Perspective, 39 IIC 307 (2008), which I've previously mentioned on this blog here and here.   I'm hoping to add something to the mix in the coming months, though at this point the project is still at a very early stage.  (I'm still not quite sure whether it will result in an article or a short book, though I'm leaning towards the latter).  Here are some slides I've prepared for an upcoming presentation to my own law faculty on the comparative law and economics of wrongful enforcement.  As always, comments and constructive criticism are welcome.   

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