Nebraska AG seeks to shut down vague patent demand letters

In late 2012, a company called MPHJ Technology started sending out letters demanding payments of $1,000 per worker for using basic “scan to e-mail” functions, saying they infringed a batch of patents. That’s earned them major political scorn, especially from attorneys general in three smaller states: Vermont, Minnesota, and Nebraska.

Today, Nebraska AG Jon Bruning announced his 2014 legislative package of several proposed bills. At the top of the list: the Nebraska Patent Abuse Prevention Act (PDF). The act would prohibit making a “bad faith assertion of patent infringement” in a patent demand letter and would require anyone sending out more than 25 demand letters in a year to register with the Attorney General’s office.

The bill enumerates a variety of factors that could make a demand letter misleading, including failing to identify the owner of the patents, failing to make specific allegations about what goods or services infringe the patents, and failing to analyze the target company’s products or systems before sending a demand letter.

Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

via Ars Technica


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