Why East Texas Is Still The Sweetest Destination For ‘Patent Trolls’

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[credit provider=”Flickr/Tim Pearce” url=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/timpearcelosgatos/3221864842/”]

The federal court in East Texas is known as the “rocket docket” for patent litigation.Companies that exist primarily to file patent lawsuits – derided as “patent trolls” – flock there to sue other companies for patent infringement.

While fewer cases have been filed in East Texas because of patent reform, a new report by law firm Perkins Coie found more cases are still filed in that district than anywhere else, Ars Technica reports.

But why?

Patent holders can “shop” for a friendly district where they can file a lawsuit against a company over an allegedly infringing product if it’s sold nationwide, according to Ars Technica.

They tend to go to the Eastern District of Texas because judges there are loath to dismiss a case before it goes to trial before a jury.

And juries in East Texas like to hand out big awards to plaintiffs, jury consultant Julie Blackman has written for the Jury Expert blog

Research from PriceWaterhouseCoopers has shown that juries in patent cases are generally pro-plaintiff.

In East Texas, juries are often older people who have less experience with technology and tend to view large corporate defendants with suspicion, Blackman writes.