I was with a friend last weekend (I’ll call her “Mom”) who was giving me some feedback about my blog. She said that she enjoys my writing, but encouraged me to cover things other than work. “How about something more interesting, like the Warriors?”, she asked.
Well, here’s my attempt to make her happy.
Northern California has once again fallen in love with a team. In this case it’s the Golden State Warriors who finished the season with a record .890 winning percentage and successfully redecorated the Bay Area in blue and gold. And although I’m a huge fan of Curry & Co. there’s another local team that with little fanfare has amassed an even better record than the Warriors. They are an organization that plays with focus, intelligence and incredible defense. They are the group of talented individuals within our Adobe legal team and outside counsel who are positively kicking ass against patent trolls.
(Sorry, Mom. I tried.)
I’ve written for years about the blight to innovation and our economy resulting from the misuse of patent litigation. During my career, I’ve witnessed first-hand the waste, the judicial burden, the financial impact and job loss, resulting from the patent troll industry. (As an aside, I considered a new moniker other than “troll”, but ex-speaker John Boehner beat me to it.)
Eighteen months ago, I described Adobe’s approach when faced with these meritless claims – an approach that resulted in Adobe going 6 – 0 in cases against patent trolls. I wrote that blog not as a bit of chest pounding, but rather to encourage other companies to take the same aggressive response when faced with these lawsuits. Absent legislative action, it’s the only way to change the economics that favor patent trolls. (In that spirit, for all of you companies fighting this same battle, feel free to give us a call. We’re happy to help and share best practices.)
So how have we done since then?
- In January 2015, after a 9-day trial, Adobe prevailed against Everyscape’s allegations that Adobe’s Photoshop product infringed two patents. The jury also invalidated the Everscape patents.
- In July, 2015, the court dismissed with prejudice a suit originally brought by another patent troll, Blue Spike, against Adobe in the Eastern District Court of Texas in 2012.
- That same month, Afluo dismissed its litigation against Adobe and its customers with prejudice after Adobe obtained a favorable ruling from the Patent and Trademark Appeals Board.
- This was followed by Adobe prevailing against YYZ (seriously, patent trolls, please put at least a little effort in your names) in a summary judgment motion.
- In February, 2016 Adobe had another summary judgement win against Fo2Go, another patent troll.
- Adobe won a summary judgment against Rosebud in February, 2015 and the lawsuit was dismissed, but Rosebud chose to appeal. In March, 2016 the Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s dismissal putting to rest a battle that has spanned three lawsuits and 5 years of legal expenses.
- Grecia, another patent troll, filed a lawsuit against Adobe, but never served it on us and in March, 2016 the case was dismissed.
- The following month, Adobe prevailed in another summary judgment motion against Collaborative Agreement, another patent troll.
- Around that same time, Genaville, who had sued over three dozen companies for patent infringement, with no payment, dismissed its case against a customer Adobe had stepped in to protect. Notably, almost all of the companies Genaville sued were users, and not manufacturers, of the alleged infringing product.
- In the same month, the Federal Circuit affirmed a 2014 Adobe trial court win and invalidated the patents Digital Reg asserted against Adobe.
- And, recently we’ve successfully prevailed against two other patent trolls on behalf of our customers, also in the Eastern District Court of Texas.
So, if you’re keeping track at home, that’s 18 wins for the Adobe Dream Team and 0 for the patent trolls.
To the “Dubs”, we wish you all the best in the NBA finals. But we know which team has the best record in the Bay Area.