SB 1457

84(R) - 2015
Senate State Affairs
Senate State Affairs
Criminal Justice

Vote Recommendation

  • Neutral
  • Positive
  • Neutral
  • Neutral
  • Neutral


Robert Nichols

Bill Caption

Relating to bad faith claims of patent infringement; providing a civil penalty.

Fiscal Notes

No significant fiscal implication to State or local government.

Bill Analysis

SB 1457 would amend Business & Chapter Code to add a section titled "Bad Faith Claims of Patent Infringement."  This would prohibit a person from sending 10 or more written communications per calendar year that makes a bad faith claim of patent infringement against a person doing business or located in Texas. A bad faith claim of patent infringement would be defined to mean; 1) the sender falsely says they have filed a lawsuit, 2) the claim has no basis because the sender has no current right to license the patent, held invalid or unenforceable, or the infringement alleged occurred after the patent expired, or 3) the communication is likely to materially mislead a reasonable recipient by meeting specific criteria.

The attorney general would be authorized to bring action on behalf of the state against violators. The penalty would be the imposition of a civil penalty not higher than $50,000, reimbursement to the state for the reasonable value of investigating and prosecuting a violation, and restitution to the victim for legal and professional expenses accrued.

Vote Recommendation Notes

This bill would affirm the principle of property rights, therefore we support this legislation.  Patent claims can be an important component of a system of property rights and individuals have a right to protect their intellectual property against thieves. It is equally egregious to make false claims and essentially deprive the individual that the false claim is made against of their time and financial resources in disputing the false claims.  This can be considered tantamount to stealing from that individual. SB 1457 would penalize those bringing multiple false claims against individuals over supposed patent infringements and help protect the victims' financial resources.