A PYMNTS Company

US: Fraudulent patent grabs land tech firm $26M in fines

 |  April 23, 2014

Technology company 3M was ordered to pay $26 million in damages earlier this week after a federal judge found the company had fraudulently obtained patents that became the basis for a patent infringement lawsuit.

3M will pay the majority of those damages to TransWeb after US District Judge Faith Hochberg found 3M fraudulently obtained patents for equipment used in oily environments, such as a shipyard. 3M had sued TransWeb for infringing upon two of its patents in 2010, but TransWeb fought back just months later on charges those patents were obtained fraudulently and are therefore unenforceable.

In an amendment to its lawsuit, TransWeb also accused 3M of monopolizing the market through patent fraud. The basis of the charges was the 1965 Supreme Court case Walter Process v. Food Machinery that found the fraudulent obtaining of a patent violates antitrust law.

TransWeb also added the charge of a sham antitrust suit to its rival, on grounds that 3M’s initial lawsuit was an attempt to harm competition.

Full Content: New Jersey Law Journal

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