Late last month, Google won its first patent infringement lawsuit to go to a jury trial, in the Eastern District of Texas. The plaintiff was Function Media LLC, a patent holding company owned by husband-and-wife inventors Michael Dean and Lucinda Stone. Unlike like many of those who file patent suits in the plaintiff-friendly venue, Dean and Stone actually live in the Eastern District, residing in Tyler.

While the broad facts of the case — a pair of entrepreneurs with one failed business idea, almost no computer programming experience, and a couple of patents march into court waving those patents and demand $600 million from one of the most successful companies of the digital age — might seem far-fetched, but they’re actually quite commonplace.

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