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New Proposal Would Force Patent Trolls to Pay Trial Costs

August 10, 2012

Rajiv Patel, partner in the Intellectual Property Group with Fenwick & West, was recently quoted in the San Jose Business Journal article, "New Proposal Would Force Patent Trolls to Pay Trial Costs."

The Saving High-Tech Innovators from Egregious Legal Disputes Act, also known as the SHIELD Act, was introduced in Congress on August 1, 2012.  This bill is aimed at deterring "patent trolls" by creating a "loser pays" system, allowing judges to force plaintiffs to pay defendants' legal fees in questionable patent lawsuits.

Rajiv Patel with Fenwick & West said the technology community would likely support the bill, while questioning how lobbying groups that represent plaintiffs' attorneys will react.  He also commented that the "loser-pays" aspect would be contentious.

"It just sounds like that's likely not going to survive at the end of the day," said Patel. "If it does, it would probably have an impact on potential plaintiffs in terms of whether they might proceed with a suit that's relatively far-fetched."