In a ruling that creates a split among the Eastern District of Pennsylvania federal judges, U.S. District Judge Michael M. Baylson has rejected a challenge to the constitutionality of the qui tam provision of the Patent Act’s false marking statute — a law that allows any citizen to sue on behalf of the United States when a product is marketed as “patented” when the patent has expired or never existed.

The issue is one of the most closely watched right now in the intellectual property world because false marking suits recently burgeoned into a hot practice area as a result of a 2009 decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

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