Attorney General Herring's Patent Troll Unit
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Patent trolls commonly target businesses and individuals unfamiliar with the complexities of patent law and infringement litigation. Even for those familiar with it, the ever-evolving state of patent law makes it a difficult terrain to navigate. A number of government and private sector organizations provide helpful information, tools, and resources to inventors and businesses facing a patent troll.
The links on this page will direct you to external websites that offer services or information that you may find helpful.
Attorney Referral Resources
- USPTO Patent Attorney/Agent Search – Directory (including contact information) for attorneys and agents licensed to practice before the USPTO.
- Virginia Lawyer Referral Service – A service of the Virginia State Bar that can connect you with qualified, competent, and fully licensed practitioners in the appropriate legal area.
Federal Government (including USPTO) Resources
- USPTO Online Toolkit – If you have received a demand letter, this USPTO site offers answer to common questions about abusive patent litigation and provides a number of additional resources that you may find helpful.
- Patent Full-Text and Image Database – A database that allows users to search the full-text of issued patents from 1976 to the present.
- Patent Assignment Search – An online, searchable database of all patent assignment information from 1980 to the present.
- Patent Term Calculator – A downloadable tool for estimating the expiration date of a patent.
- Patent Application Information Retrieval (PAIR) System – Provides the status of pending patent applications and access to documents submitted during the application process.
- PACER – The official system for accessing federal court filings.
- The Patent Process: An Overview for Jurors (video) – Produced by the Federal Judicial Center, this brief video explains what a patent is and the process for obtaining it.
Private Sector Resources
- Google Patents – A user-friendly and flexible search engine that provides information about issued patents and patent applications.
- Docket Navigator – Provides information about a patent’s litigation history including the number of cases, a list of companies who have asserted the patent, the number of monetary awards and injunctions, and any prior claim constructions.
- Lex Machina – Provides demand letter analytics to help you better understand the demand letter you received and make an informed decision about how to respond.
- RPXCorp – Provides patent market information and allows users to search for patents, litigation cases, and entities associated with a patent.
- Legal Information Institute – A legal research tool with an extensive collection of federal, state, and international laws, regulations, and procedural rules.
- Electronic Frontier Foundation – A digital rights group working to defend innovation that provides information about patent reform and offers a searchable database of demand letters.
Note: While the majority of these organizations provide free resources, please note that some organizations may charge a fee for certain services or information.
Disclaimer: Providing links to these resources does not constitute legal advice and use of these resources should not replace consultation with an attorney familiar with patent law. The Office of the Attorney General provides links to these resources for informational purposes only—the Office of the Attorney General does not endorse, recommend, or favor any specific organization, attorney, law firm, or corporation. The Office of the Attorney General reserves the right to remove any link, add links to additional resources, or make changes to the list of resources at any time without notice.