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Re: MS partner sues Red Hat for patent violation ..

In article <11452185.99fscqFAJx@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>,
 Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Hash: SHA1
> ____/ Alan Mackenzie on Thursday 05 March 2009 16:35 : \____
> > In gnu.misc.discuss Doug Mentohl <doug_mentohl@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> >> 'Software Tree LLC claims that JBoss infringes on its database patent
> >> for "exchanging data and commands between an object oriented system and
> >> a relational system." Software Tree's partners include Microsoft, and
> >> that the suit was filed in Eastern Texas, which is known as a
> >> plaintiff's paradise for patent actions."'
> > 
> > Just as an aside, wouldn't it be a smart move for high tech companies to
> > avoid doing business in Eastern Texas, so that they'd couldn't be patent
> > trolled there?  If enough companies boycotted that place, they might fix
> > their legal setup.
> > 
> >> http://yro.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=09/03/04/1615250
> Would that exempt them from litigation? IANAL, so I find this suggestion
> curious.

The posters you quote are overlooking a couple of things.

1. EDT is not a "plaintiff's paradise" in terms of results.  Defendants 
have been doing quite well there the last couple of years.

2. It *is* a plaintiff's paradise in terms of speed.  The courts there 
are familiar with patent litigation (which is one of the more 
complicated forms of litigation), and aren't busy with a lot of other 
stuff, and so patent suits move fast.  Plaintiffs generally like 
that--but so do defendants, so it is also a defendant's paradise.

A lawsuit is very disruptive for both parties.  Pretty much anyone, not 
matter what side they are on, would rather have a suit that takes 2 
years in a far away district like EDT than a suit that takes 4 years in 
a nearby district.

Before EDT was the big patent case district, it was some district in the 
vicinity of Virginia--I forget which one.  That one became a big patent 
district because the head judge, who is responsible for assigning and 
scheduling cases, started giving favorable scheduling to patent cases, 
and so people started picking that district.  He did that because, as I 
mentioned earlier, patent cases are complex.  That's good for the people 
of the district.  A patent case means a lot of lawyers compared to an 
average case, and more expert witnesses, and longer trials--which means 
a lot more out of area visitors booking expensive local hotel rooms.  
And not just rooms--they will book giant meeting rooms, and set up a 
couple dozen work areas, complete with computers, a dedicated, expensive 
internet link.  The people handling witness prep will be deciding at the 
last minute that they don't like the clothes a witness brought, and so 
will go out to the local clothing stores, and buy the witness a couple 
new, custom fitted suits.  (I came out of the trial where I was a 
witness with four new suits and a dozen ties).  I could go on, but 
suffice it to say that a patent trial can bring quite a nice boost to 
the local economy.

EDT became a big patent case district because of judge Ward.  I believe 
one of the last cases he was involved with before becoming a judge was a 
patent case, although he was not a patent attorney.  He enjoyed the 
complexity of the case, and so when he became a judge, he sought out 
patent cases.  That attracted more patent cases, and so the other judges 
in the district got experience with them.  There isn't much federal 
crime in EDT compared to many other districts, which also helps.  
(Federal criminal cases take scheduling priority, because of the 
Constitutional right to a speedy trial for accused criminals.  In some 
districts, such as ones where a lot of drug cases arise, it is very hard 
to get any civil case on the calendar).

Lately, though, some companies that have filed in EDT before (Acacia, 
for one) have been filing elsewhere, so there are signs another district 
might be becoming the next patent hot spot.

--Tim Smith

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