June 8, 2013 - President Obama suggests new actions to counteract patent trolls.
This article in The Economist details President Obama's latest statements regarding new actions to undercut patent trolls in the future, by executive order, if not legislation. One of the options he has been discussing is the possibility for attorney fee shifting in patent cases involving NPE's.
February 10, 2011 - The Federal Circuit raises the bar for the recovery of attorneys' fees.
In a move that benefits small companies and individual inventors, the Federal Circuit raised the bar for the recovery of attorneys' fees in patent cases. A Kentucky tech company sued Google in the Eastern District of Kentucky. Google won the case on summary judgment, then moved to recover their attorneys' fees from the plaintiff. Typically, attorneys' fees can only be recovered in "exceptional cases." The district court granted the motion, but the Federal Circuit reversed, stating that the plaintiff's case was not "objectively baseless." This higher burden makes it very difficult for a defendant to recover fees, and is a positive outcome for patent plaintiffs everywhere. The case was iLOR LLC v. Google, Inc. (Fed. Cir. 10-1117).
December 8, 2010 - Partner Frank Washko argues before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Frank Washko argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Paul Redd, Jr. v. Michael Daley (09-17164) on Wednesday. Mr. Washko argued that the district court erred by not finding that a pro se plaintiff exhausted his administrative remedies on an Eighth Amendment excessive force claim. Further, Mr. Washko argued that a party waives its 12(b) affirmative defense of exhaustion of administrative remedies when the party fails to raise the defense in a timely manner.
Within only a few weeks, the Ninth Circuit returned a complete victory for the firm's client.
December 1, 2010 - Supreme Court to hear arguments in i4i case.
The U.S. Supreme Court will consider making some patents more vulnerable to legal challenge. Microsoft is challenging not just its own loss, but the entire standard upon which the defense based its case. Defendant companies accused of patent infringement have to prove a patent is invalid under a "clear and convincing" standard of evidence. If Microsoft wins this case, defendants will be able to win under the easier "preponderance of evidence" standard.
November 1, 2010 - Supreme Court to hear arguments in violent video game ban.
The Supreme Court of the United States will hear arguments in Schwarzenegger v. Entertainment Merchants Association (08-1448) on Tuesday in the First Amendment challenge to California's ban on violent video games. California first banned sales to minors in 2005, but the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held the law unconstitutional in 2009.