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Vt. Joins Suit Seeking Fees In Patent Litigation

Tue, 12/10/2013 - 12:02pm

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) -- The state of Vermont is joining 29 other states in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a circuit court standard and help recover attorneys' fees in patent litigation.

Attorney General Bill Sorrell says the states filed a friend-of-the-court brief asking the high court to relax the standard that lower courts use to award attorneys' fees to prevailing parties in some patent cases.

The brief, drafted by Vermont, explains the harm caused by so-called "patent trolls" and urges the Court to adopt a rule that would make it easier for businesses that successfully defend meritless claims of patent infringement to recover some of their litigation costs.

Patent trolls allegedly buy up patents from others and make money by asserting infringement and demanding licensing fees or settlements.

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