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Suing makers of unfounded accusations

Red alert.png What this entry documents is not a solution.
This practice may be ineffective or useless in the long term.
ESP's position is that abolition of software patents is the only solution.

Being able to easily sue makers of unfounded accusations may make such allegations less profitable and thus less common.

Of course, this requires a lawyer and readiness to go to court. Many software developers have neither and most small- and medium-sized businesses won't find it worthwhile. This mechanism might only become useful if it was quick and free.

In the USA: Slander of title

On what is needed:

Allegations of patent infringement can be slander of title if they are false, reasonably calculated to cause harm, and result in special damages. The court found insufficient evidence of malice to create a jury question. “Mere falsity, prior disputes between the parties, and ‘[s]uspicion, surmise and accusation’ are insufficient to raise an inference of malice.”[1]

Also possible: Abuse of process?

In the ruling of France's Tribunal de Grande Instance de Paris in the case Samsung v. Apple (2011, France), the judge commented that Samsung's litigation:

The Hague Court also mentioned that it could not be excluded that Samsung’s action be considered on the merits as an abuse of the right to initiate legal actions.[2]

Original: Le tribunal de la Haye a également indiqué qu'il ne pouvait pas être exclu que l'action de SAMSUNG soit considérée au fond comme un abus du droit d'ester en justice.[3]

External links


Law Antitrust law · Free software exception · Interoperability exception · Loser-Pays rule · Patent review by the public · Raising examination standards · Independent invention defense · Reducing patent duration
Litigation Invalidating harmful patents · Suing makers of unfounded accusations
Licenses Patent clauses in software licenses
Prior art Defensive publication and prior art databases
Company practice Buying harmful patents · Changing company patent policies · Defensive patent acquisition · Insurance against patent litigation · Non-aggression promise to employees · Patent non-aggression pacts · Blanket patent licences and promises