• Cisco Lawyer Sued Over "Patent Troll Tracker" Site
  • April 17, 2008
  • Law Firm: Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP - Los Angeles Office
  • Two Texas lawyers are suing Cisco Systems Inc. and one of its in-house lawyers for allegedly defaming them on the popular “Patent Troll Tracker” blog.

    Lawyer Eric Albritton filed a complaint last month in Texas state court against Cisco and attorney Richard Frenkel. Albritton claims that last October Frenkel blogged that Albritton "conspired" with the clerk of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to modify official documents in a case involving Cisco. Albritton claims further that Frenkel "acted with specific intent to injure" Albritton's reputation and professional standing. He also fingers Cisco, alleging that Frenkel “was acting in his official capacity as director of intellectual property litigation for Cisco, and thus Cisco is vicariously liable for the acts of Frenkel."

    In a separate suit filed last month as well, Texas attorney John Ward Jr. likewise alleges that Cisco and Frenkel acted to hurt his reputation by blogging about him on the site.

    Frenkel had posted anonymously on the Patent Troll Tracker until February, when he came forth after another lawyer offered a $15,000 reward to anyone willing to identify him.

    Frenkel’s popular blog condemns “patent trolls” – companies whose sole purpose is to exploit their patent portfolio by suing other companies. Cisco and other corporations that are frequently the target of such lawsuits contend that because these companies do not use the patents to make products, they should be restricted from bringing patent lawsuits.