Attorney General Herring's Patent Troll Unit
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Virginia businesses foster economic growth and drive innovation in the Commonwealth. In recent years, however, high-tech businesses, Main Street businesses, and everything in between have become frequent targets of “patent trolls” who send bad faith demand letters, request unjustified licensing fees, and threaten baseless lawsuits. Unchecked, patent trolls and their bad faith practices stifle innovation in the Commonwealth, have a negative impact on our innovation-driven economy, and tie up the courts.
In 2014, recognizing that the patent troll problem needed a legislative remedy, Attorney General Herring helped craft and broker compromise legislation to combat patent trolls and their bad faith practices. With broad, bipartisan support of legislators and stakeholders, this legislation became Va. Code §§ 59.1-215.1 to -215.4, which prohibits bad faith assertions of patent infringement.
Attorney General Herring established the Patent Troll Unit to investigate and prosecute violations of the Virginia law prohibiting bad faith assertions of patent infringement. The Patent Troll Unit also provides Virginians with information about patent trolling and tips for identifying patent trolls. Through these educational, investigative, and enforcement efforts, Attorney General Herring and the Patent Troll Unit hope to protect Virginians from truly bad faith assertions of patent infringement and create an environment that is inhospitable to patent trolls.
On this website you can find information about the patent system, learn more about patent trolling, access helpful patent resources, find answers to frequently asked questions about patent trolling, and report a patent troll to the Patent Troll Unit.