• Update: False Patent Marking Complaints Skyrocketing
  • March 9, 2010
  • Law Firm: Alston & Bird LLP - Atlanta Office
  • Less than two months after the Federal Circuit released its ruling in The Forest Group, Inc. v. Bon Tool Co., more than four dozen false patent marking complaints have been filed across the United States. Of these complaints, the vast majority have been brought by three plaintiffs seeking to take advantage of the patent laws’ reward of a portion of the imposed statutory fine for false marking. This suggests an emergence of “false marking trolls” similar to the “patent trolls” that arose following another Federal Circuit ruling in 1998. Now, as then, it initially appears likely that the only interest these plaintiffs have for filing these complaints is monetary. Regardless of the plaintiffs’ motivation, it is apparent that patentees should now, more than ever, regularly examine their patent marking practices to ensure that patent marking is correct. Failure to do so, as these complaints foreshadow, could result in undesired litigation expenses and possibly substantial liability.