Today Attorney General Jon Bruning initiated an investigation into whether patent infringement enforcement efforts by Texas law firm Farney Daniels LLP violate Nebraska law. Specifically, if such efforts amount to unfair or deceptive practices, they may violate the Nebraska Consumer Protection Act and the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act.
Farney Daniels LLP has sent multiple letters to Nebraska businesses on behalf of patent trolls threatening lawsuits over patent infringement. This litigation is costly and destructive to Nebraska consumers and businesses.
“Patent trolls” are companies that buy groups of patents without intending to develop or market a product. They threaten target companies with lawsuits alleging infringement of the patents they have purchased. Businesses that have used, developed, or sold established technologies are often caught off-guard by such threats.
“‘Patent trolls’ make egregious threats with little or no valid legal purpose to gain fast money,” said Bruning. “It is a top priority of our office to protect Nebraska consumers and businesses from this sort of baseless harassment.”
The Attorney General’s Office is empowered to bring an action in the name of the state against any person to restrain and prevent violations of the Consumer Protection Act and the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act and seek civil penalties against offenders, where appropriate.
A copy of the Cease and Desist Order and Civil Investigative Demand sent to Farney Daniels LLP will be available shortly at www.ago.ne.gov.