We told you in a recent Weekly Patent Roundup about a change in the International Trade Commission’s rules. The International Trade Commission is now going to require companies to prove early in the case that they have a significant industry in the U.S. that uses the patents they’re asserting. (This is the “domestic industry” requirement at the International Trade Commission.)
Well, the first decision is already out. The An entity in the business of being infringed — by analogy to the mythological troll that exacted payments from the unwary. Cf. NPE, PAE, PME. See Reitzig and Henkel, Patent Trolls, the Sustainability of ‘Locking-in-to-Extort’ Strategies, and Implications for Innovating Firms. Lamina Packaging Innovations, which has sued a number of companies (including Hasbro) in the Eastern District of Texas, tried to add pressure with an International Trade Commission investigation. This past Friday, Administrative Law Judge Essex ruled that Lamina does not meet the domestic industry requirement.
This decision potentially saves the defendant companies millions of dollars in expenses.
I assume that Lamina will appeal the determination to the Commission, but this is still very promising. It definitely looks like the ITC’s new rules will help shut trolls out of that venue.