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Attorney General Josh Stein Successfully Defends North Carolina Law Against Patent Trolls

For Immediate Release: Friday, August 20, 2021

Contact: Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060

 

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today applauded a court decision in Napco v. Landmark that upholds the NC Abusive Patents Assertions Act, a 2014 North Carolina law designed to curb abusive practices by patent trolls, which are businesses that largely exist to bring patent infringement lawsuits. Attorney General Stein filed an amicus brief in the case in May, arguing that the law against patent trolls is essential to protecting innovation.

 

“I’m pleased with the court’s decision to protect North Carolina businesses,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “These patent trolls leech resources from our growing tech industry, and this ruling upholding state law will protect innovators in our state and give them back the time and resources to create and grow.”

 

Patent trolls, or non-practicing entities (NPEs), stifle innovation by suing North Carolina companies and forcing them to pay settlements or licensing fees in bad-faith patent claims. These payments can be burdensome and often disproportionately harm small and medium companies without the resources to fight back in court. North Carolina is one of more than 30 states with a law to protect businesses from patent trolls.

 

A coalition of North Carolina’s leading technology companies and associations, including SAS and the North Carolina Technology Association, also filed a brief in this case describing how North Carolina companies have secured many patents to protect their intellectual property and have invested millions of dollars in research and development in their cutting-edge technologies.

 

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