Brooklyn Law Clinic students scare away patent trolls


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This isn’t really news; but anyone who likes the theory that the legal system is a good mechanism for upholding the law should be Very, Very, Very, concerned if simply tweaking the cost of legal representation radically alters the equilibrium behavior of the system.

The “Yeah, we have maybe a 10% chance of actually winning this case; but you can’t afford how much we’ll win if we do…” school of speculative lawsuit is bad enough; but at least it is derived from the law(odds of winning and formula for damages calculation). The law is often magnificently draconian(see also Capitol Records, Inc. v. Thomas-Rasset…) so this still leads to bad outcomes; but they are outcomes defined by the law.

The “Our case is utter bullshit; but it’ll cost you a second mortgage or worse to fight it” is pure extortion without any particular legal grounding aside from the need for some sort of claim just plausible enough to not be thrown out on sight. It’s a ‘legal’ process utterly divorced from the law, however benevolent or draconian, and purely extortionate.


All these trolls will end up accomplishing is make it harder for actual cases to be taken seriously …

I know a fellow who ran a computer company with some partners back in the eighties. He split off to start his own company, and then the original company sued him. But he had managed to negotiate free legal insurance as one of the separation terms. So, in essence, his lawyers were paid for by the folks suing him. He ended up “winning” the case.

It was still a major drag, the worst harassment he had ever endured. All he had to show for it was several filing cabinets full of paper records. It soured me on lawyers.

I like the proposed order, more than the order.

If a complaint is dismissed without prejudice, the plaintiff can refile the lawsuit. If it’s dismissed with prejudice, then the matter is over and dealt with.

It seems that it’s in the students’ own best interests not to let the troll (or anyone they’re going up against) know about the resources being thrown at their case. Well, not just in a Sun Tzu Art of War way, but also if they’re looking for experience.

If they’re looking to end it quickly, process as many cases as possible, or the case isn’t interesting enough, then pull the “lotsa law students” card. The case may get interesting if their opponent persists in pursuing it.

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It is inadequate that trolls be scared away. They must be tracked back to their lair and hunted and destroyed utterly, their offspring slain, and the land salted for a mile all around.


For better or worse only Judge Dredd can file a motion to dismiss with extreme prejudice.

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