Law firms beware. I previously posted
about the Vermont Attorney General’s Office taking action against a patent troll based on its enforcement efforts against Vermont-based businesses. Now, an Attorney General’s Office has set its sights on a law firm that allegedly represents patent trolls. Last month, the Nebraska Attorney General’s Office reported in a press release
that it is investigating a Texas law firm for possible violations of Nebraska’s Consumer Protection Act and the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act based on the firm’s past enforcement efforts on behalf of various non-practicing entity clients. According to the Chief Deputy AG, his office is investigating infringement assertions by the firm that it claims were unsubstantiated and false, misleading or deceptive.
In his cease and desist letter
, the Chief Deputy AG noted that this was not first time that the Nebraska AG’s Office had investigated the firm or one of its clients. It’s unclear as to the nature of the prior inquiry.
Of interest, the Nebraska AG’s Office has demanded that the firm identify, among other things, all patents that it has asserted on behalf of its clients against Nebraska consumers since January 1, 2010. It has also asked for all communications related thereto. In addition, the AG’s Office has demanded that the firm cease and desist from any new patent enforcement actions within the State of Nebraska pending the investigation.
Between the uptick of pending legislation and the recent Attorney Generals’ enforcement efforts, there appears to be a groundswell of interest in curbing patent troll activity. The blanket approach to sending out cease and desist letters on behalf of trolls may not bode well if it involves a substantial number of businesses operating in one state.