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Judge bars Apple from using terms like 'patent troll' in GPNE lawsuit

updated 03:55 pm EDT, Thu July 3, 2014

Attempt at reducing jury prejudice, confusion

Apple must avoid using terms like "patent troll," "privateer," or "bandit" in its defense against a patent lawsuit from GPNE Corp., according to a pre-trial ruling by US District Judge Lucy Koh. The company will also be blocked from using terms like "shakedown" or "playing the lawsuit lottery." Koh argues that such expressions could potentially confuse or bias the jury, which is set to decide whether Apple violated data transmission patents reaching back to 1996.

"Patent troll" is a derogatory but now relatively common term for companies like GPNE, which hold patents but don't actually make any products. Instead such firms depend on licensing deals and/or lawsuits to bring in revenue. Koh says that Apple will be allowed to claim that GPNE is "a company that doesn't make anything," or "a company that doesn't sell anything."

The latter is also pursuing money from businesses such as Amazon, BlackBerry, and Nokia.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Makosuke

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-06-01

    Actually, I'd say if they depend on (legitimate) licensing deals, they don't qualify as a patent troll, although the company is of questionable value to society. It's the ones that never try to license anything until after the courtroom-based shakedown starts that qualify.

  1. JohnFromBeyond

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-05-07

    Apple is also restricted from using the terms "evil beeotch judge", "stupid judge", and "ridiculous rulings".

  1. Jeronimo2000

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 08-20-01

    But "assclown" surely is allowed, right?

  1. prl99

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: 03-24-09

    Is Judge Lucy the only US District judge around? The majority of cases against Apple seem to be handled by her. Does she do anything else other than rip Apple?

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