Marshall strikes again
The plaintiff was memory module specialist Netlist.
For several decades the Eastern District Court of Texas in the town of Marshall has been the go-to court in the US for patent law cases.
At its peak the courtroom (pictured) was hearing 40% of the patent cases in the USA.
The court’s judges energetically promoted it as the best place to file a patent suit.
One judge, Alan Albright, gave a presentation to the American Intellectual Property Law Association entitled “Why You Should File Your Next Patent Case Across the Street from the ‘Hey Sugar.’” Hey Sugar being a shop.
To keep the cases rolling through the court at a good clip, a Marshall judge called T. John Ward devised the court’s so-called “rocket docket,” rules. With these rules, Ward, according to Texas Monthly: “Limited the number of pages lawyers could file in their motions, set strict timetables for hearings, and used a timer to rein in lawyers’ presentations in the courtroom.”
Apple, Huawei, HP, Samsung and many others have felt the legal lash in Marshall. A patent troll was awarded $533 million in damages against Apple in 2015 which was overturned on appeal in 2017.
The American Tort Reform Association dubbed the court a “judicial hellhole.”
In last week’s case the jury decided that that Samsung’s memory modules for high-performance computing willfully infringed all five patents that Netlist accused the Korean tech giant of violating
Samsung, which has appeared frequently in the Marshall court, will feel especially aggrieved because, to butter up the local citizenry, it built an open air ice rink next door to the courthouse.
The citizenry, of course, form the juries which decide the court’s patent trials.
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