A decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in a case set for argument Aug. 3 could put the brakes on suits that accuse companies of falsely marking their products as covered by patents. Federal judges in Texas are seeing a substantial number of such cases filed in their courts.

At issue in Stauffer v. Brooks Brothers Inc., et al. is whether a pro se attorney lacked standing to sue Brooks Brothers because he failed to show that the alleged false marking of the clothier’s adjustable bow ties as covered by a patent caused injury to a competitor, to the U.S. economy or to the public. In May 2009, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York granted the defendants’ motion to dismiss the suit, concluding that attorney Raymond Stauffer lacked standing to pursue monetary penalties on the government’s behalf.

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