Teleforum Panel: End-User Lawsuits in Patent Litigation: A Bug or a Feature of Patent Law

August 29, 2013

Listen to the Teleforum (left click to stream or right click and select “save link as” or “save target as” to download).  Please note that this is unedited original audio, which can sound muffled or include static at times. 

PANELISTS:iStock_000012513087Medium

  • Christopher Beauchamp, Brooklyn Law School
  • David Berten, Founder and Partner, Global IP Law Group
  • John Scott, Vice President of Litigation, Qualcomm Inc.
  • Moderator: Prof. Adam Mossoff, George Mason University School of Law, Senior Scholar, CPIP

In the patent policy debates today, one issue that has proven a flash point of controversy is patent infringement lawsuits against consumers and retailers, such as coffee shops, JC Penney, and others. These are now called “end-user lawsuits,” and various legislative proposals would mandate a “stay” of such lawsuits in favor of suing upstream manufacturers. The federal judiciary currently vests stay decisions within the discretionary authority of trial judges, who have long controlled and directed complex litigation in their courtrooms. While anecdotes of cease-and-desist letters against “mom-and-pop stores” abound in public commentary, there has been very little discussion of the systemic effects of the proposed mandatory stay provisions. Are end-user lawsuits a recent phenomenon or are they a longstanding feature of the patent system? Why has approval of a motion to stay litigation rested within the discretionary authority of a trial judge? Are there any unintended consequences of adopting a mandatory stay rule for end-user lawsuits? This teleforum panel brings together scholars and representatives from the innovation industries to discuss the history, function, and policy implications of end-user lawsuits within patent litigation.

This was a live, in-person panel presentation in which the panelists and audience members participated via a conference bridge. Audience members were be able to ask questions of the panelists in an interactive Q&A format.