Vermont AG obtains legal victory against alleged patent troll

Bryan Cohen Sep. 3, 2014, 1:32pm

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (Legal Newsline) - Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell announced a victory in state court on Tuesday against an alleged patent troll that attempted to dismiss a lawsuit for lack of personal jurisdiction.

Sorrell filed a lawsuit against MPHJ Technology Investments LLC in May 2013. Sorrell alleged that MPHJ sent unfair and deceptive demand letters to non-profits and businesses throughout Vermont. MPHJ allegedly claimed to have a patent on the process of scanning documents and attaching them to email via a network.

MPHJ filed a motion to dismiss Sorrell's lawsuit, alleging Sorrell's office did not have personal jurisdiction. MPHJ removed the case to federal court, but the court found no federal jurisdiction and sent the case back to state court in April.

The state court denied the motion to dismiss, recognizing a strong interest in Sorrell's office attempting to protect Vermont's citizens from alleged consumer fraud.

“MPHJ has done everything in its power to stop the state from proceeding against it on the merits, but has not succeeded," Sorrell said. "We are pleased to be able to go forward with this litigation."

MPHJ allegedly sent letters to Vermont entities through forty shell companies, asking the targeted entities to pay licensing fees and threatening them with litigation. Sorrell's initial lawsuit sought restitution, civil penalties and an injunction.

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State of Vermont Office of the Attorney General
109 State St
Montpelier, VT 05602

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