Marshall Is Capital City Of Patent Lawsuits
The State Of Texas has joined 16 other states in filing amicus briefs in a case that is coming before the U.S. Supreme Court concerning where companies can file patent infringement lawsuits. Texas and the other states contend that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has misinterpreted the Supreme Court's ruling in such a way as to cause "venue shopping" for companies or individuals that want to file patent claims.
Basically, companies look for areas of the country where juries are likely to rule in the patent-holder's favor. And the center of the patent lawsuit universe is tiny Marshall, Texas. Yep, the Eastern District of Texas attracts anywhere between 25 and 50 percent of all such cases each year. A single judge had 3,609 such cases between 2013 and 2015! And no wonder--the average patent damages award is $38 MILLION over the average in the rest of the country. And most of the lawsuits don't have anything to do with anyone in the state of Texas.
Now here's where it gets even crazier. Two companies have been sued so much that they're trying to curry favor among the citizens of Marshall. One of them sponsored the ice-skating rink across the street from the courthouse while the other bought the prize bull in the livestock show then took out a huge ad in the paper telling everybody about it.
So, Texas and these 16 other states are saying, basically, that this is crazy and the Supreme Court needs to stop the insanity.