Suing a company for patent infringement just got a lot tougher in the state of Virginia.This is an excellent idea.
The state (technically a commonwealth) has created a new legal office focused entirely on patent litigation. Specifically, the state's Patent Troll Unit will look to extract penalties and legal fees from companies who make unjust patent infringement claims against businesses operating in the state.
The task force will seek out companies who file infringement claims on dubious or vague patents, seeking a quick payout. The legal team, reporting to the Attorney General, will file for injunctions against companies it deems acting in "bad faith" with infringement claims.
"Virginia businesses of all sizes can be targets, from a small, local business up to a large, high-tech firm," Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring told the local Augusta Free Press.
"Under the bipartisan legislation we were able to help craft last year, my office has strong new enforcement powers and we’re going to use them to protect Virginia businesses from these bad actors.”
Those who believe they are being targeted by a patent troll are being advised to contact the Attorney General's office with details including the demands of the patent troll, contact information and patent details.
Defending against a patent troll is frequently expensive, and so companies frequently settle.
Having the Attorney General's office on your makes it far less ruinous to fight patent extortion.