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New law protects businesses, consumers from patent trolls

By Dayna DeHaven | Aug 28, 2014

Lisa madigan
Lisa Madigan |

Senate Bill 3405, which protects Illinois businesses by banning false patent demand letters, was signed into law by Gov. Pat Quinn recently.

The new law bans patent demand letters that contain false or deceptive information, falsely threaten litigation if a fee is not paid, fail to identity the individual asserting the patent or explain the alleged infringement, and are sent by those who do not have the right to license or enforce a license.

“This law provides protections for the thousands of Illinois businesses that have been inundated with costly, fraudulent demands from patent trolls,” state Attorney General Lisa Madigan said.

Madigan’s office created the bill to protect both businesses and consumers from frivolous patent infringement claims, which falsely threaten litigation and attempt to extort licensing payment monies from legitimate businesses.

Patent trolls send threatening and misleading demand letters that fail to disclose basic information or concrete circumstances surrounding alleged infringement, some being sent for actions such as purchasing commercial office supplies or equipment.

“The law balances restrictions to crack down on this abusive practice while ensuring legitimate patent holders have the right to pursue infringement claims,” Madigan said.

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American Heartland Bank & Trust Company