Due to the Patent Troll Prevention Act - legislation proposed by the Washington state Attorney General’s Office and passed by the legislature in 2015 - it is unlawful to send bad faith assertions of patent infringement to individuals or businesses in Washington state.
Bad faith patent infringement claims impose a significant burden on individual Washington businesses and other entities, and also undermine Washington's efforts to attract and nurture information technology and knowledge-based businesses.
If you or your business was targeted by a patent troll, and you received an assertion of patent infringement that you feel was sent in bad faith, please file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division.
Information about filing complaints to the Attorney General can be found here.
- Complaints can be filed on behalf of individuals and businesses. If you have questions, call centers are open M-F 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- 1.800.551.4636 (Washington only)
- 1.800.551.4637 206.464.6684
- 1.800.551.4638 1.800.833.6388 (Washington State Relay Service for the hearing impaired)
Unsure how to identify a bad faith assertion of patent infringement?
According to RCW 19.350, “Assertions of patent infringement” means:
- Sending or delivering a demand to a target;
- Threatening a target with litigation asserting, alleging, or claiming that the target has engaged in patent infringement;
- Sending or delivering a demand to the customers of a target; or
- Otherwise making claims or allegations, other than those made in litigation against a target, that a target has engaged in patent infringement or that a target should obtain a license to a patent in order to avoid litigation
Evidence of bad faith assertions of patent infringement include:
- The assertion of patent infringement lacks key information, including the patent number or the name and address of the patent owner;
- Before making a demand, the person did not conduct any analysis comparing the claims in the patent to the target's product, service, or technology;
- The person threatens legal action that cannot legally be taken;
- The assertion of patent infringement contains false, misleading, or deceptive information;
- The person, or a subsidiary or an affiliate of the person, has previously filed or threatened to file one or more lawsuits based on the same or substantially equivalent assertion of patent infringement, and a court found the person's assertion to be without merit or found the assertion contains false, misleading, or deceptive information.
The Attorney General's Office is authorized to bring legal action only on behalf of the State of Washington, and is prohibited from serving as an attorney for individual consumers. The office is also prohibited from giving advice, rendering opinions or interpretations, or conducting research on behalf of individuals or businesses.