Lawyers expect a recent ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit to stanch the outpouring of whistleblower lawsuits accusing companies of falsely labeling their products as covered by patents. The suits sprang from a December 2009 Federal Circuit ruling calling for up to $500 in fines for each offending product sold, not up to $500 in total.
By late April, plaintiffs lawyers had filed more than 175 false marking lawsuits in district courts around the country in response to the earlier Federal Circuit ruling. Defense lawyers call the cases “nuisance suits” and the filers “bounty hunters.”
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