DRM Attorneys Provided Critical Assistance with Vermont Anti-Patent Troll Law Signed by Governor
Vermont’s Governor Shumlin Signs Nation’s First Patent Protection Law Against Bad Faith Claims
May 22, 2013
Vermont Chamber of Commerce
Gov. Peter Shumlin this morning signed into law a bill that seeks to protect Vermont companies from abusive and bad faith assertions of patent infringement, further encouraging the growth of knowledge-based businesses in Vermont.
The governor signed the patent trolling prevention bill in front of an enthusiastic group of business leaders during the opening ceremonies of the Vermont Chamber Business & Industry EXPO.
“This bill will help to protect our good Vermont businesses from unscrupulous patent trolls who take advantage of them through bad faith claims of patent infringement,” Shumlin said. “It will help us grow jobs.”
“Patent trolls” make frivolous patent infringement claims, forcing companies to engage in protracted litigation, or pay settlement fees — funds that would otherwise be allocated to research and development, job growth, capital improvements or other investments that could be used to grow businesses and stimulate the Vermont economy. Vermont is the first state in the nation to make the practice of patent trolling a violation of state law.
“This new law will allow Vermont companies to fight back against patent trolls who send extortionate demand letters or initiate extortionate patent litigation,” said Peter Kunin, an attorney in the intellectual property practice at Downs Rachlin Martin PLLC, a Vermont law firm with a significant practice in intellectual property law and patent litigation. Kunin and colleague Eric Poehlmann worked with an ad-hoc group of business and government leaders to define the legal framework behind the bill.