A Drop of Sanity on the DRM Stranglehold
The opinion on the ruling is that it will reduce placeholder patents substantially. Patent plaintives will have a weaker position from which to negotiate an early settlement. The court ruled that the infringing party must only pay the amount of actual damage. This racket has cost tech companies and consumers billions in legal settlement fees. The legal contingency funds held by innovation based companies will not need to be so high in the future.
The Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that injunctions shouldn't be rubberstamped for patent cases. They specifically singled out business-method patents that are litigated by those who have no stake in producing the product or offering the service; i.e., patent trolls.
What this means is that patent trolls will be less likely to hold their victims for ransom through injunction unless the patentholder can demonstrate that they meet a four-part test, already in use for other injunctions involving equity, which is hard for a non-producer to meet. Even if a patentholder wins at trial, the defendent could file an appeal and still have injunctions in abeyence.
In essence, a plaintiff has to show irreparable harm, that mere money or other remedies when at trial aren't enough, that there is an imbalance in hardships against the plaintiff, and that a permanent injunction wouldn't harm the public interest. (IANAL.)
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