And with each case come a handful of lawyers and representatives who need shelter, food, and a place to work in. Anyone who knows about these 3 towns knows that these are no booming metropolis’ who are accustomed to this sudden influx of business. These are towns where the slightest increase of visitors can completely change the local economy.
The nature of the type of business these teams of lawyers bring deals more with the short term picture rather than long term. Providing lodging, establishments to eat, and office space has become the main focus. Already established motels and local restaurants have already benefitted and others are looking to cash in. Unfortunately, relying on these circumstances for your economic future is like building on sand, at any moment it can all crumble. East Texas, you have a target on your back.
This past March a bill for patent infringement reform was submitted by Senators. In this bill there was one element that theoretically said “East Texas, We’re coming for you!” That element was a little thing called “forum shopping”. The rapid growth of patent litigation cases taking place in places like Marshall, Texarkana, and Tyler the past few years has drawn some attention to the, usually, relaxed atmosphere of East Texas.
As some politicians have gotten themselves involved with slowing down the abuse that is taking place in patent infringement lawsuits by what they call “patent trolls” they have adopted a strategy that, inadvertently, has targeted the eastern part of Texas.
“Forum shopping” is when plaintiffs, or the one’s doing the suing, pick out a court district that is found to be favorable to their type of case. And it’s no secret that these 3 east Texas towns, especially Marshall, have a high percentage of deciding for plaintiffs of patent infringement cases as well as handing out large compensation.
As the law stands now, patent litigation can take place anywhere in the United States that the product or technology in question has been sold. So, when it comes to the big companies that are usually targeted for patent infringement suits, like Nintendo for example, the case can be held in any part of the States.
And, of course, these plaintiffs have chosen favorable court districts. It is no fault of the people of these towns that they have become known to decide for plaintiffs, they just do their duty and go home. But one thing is taking place for sure. East Texas, your being called out.