There are companies out there who do nothing but own patents and buy up patents from other companies. They tend use these patents to file lawsuits against other companies, alleging patent infringement, forcing the companies to settle with them or enter into a lawsuit that could prove to be costly and time-consuming.
Such companies have been referred to as patent trolls and it is a widely used term. However it seems that US District Judge Lucy Koh does not appreciate such terms, and has since barred Apple’s legal team from using terms like “patent troll”, “privateer”, or “bandit” in their court case against GPNE Corp.
Koh has also barred the use of other terms such as “shakedown” or “playing the lawsuit lottery”, which is why patent trolls tend to do in hopes that they will be given a ruling in their favor. According to Koh, she states that by using such terms, it could confuse the jury or cause bias, since such terms have negative connotations to them, which we guess is fair enough.
GPNE Corp has recently filed a lawsuit against Apple and is also targeting other tech giants such as Amazon, BlackBerry, and Nokia. It is unclear how this one will play out, but what do you guys think? Is Koh’s ruling against such terms fair?