Patents are supposed to be given to ideas that are non-obvious. Therefore, when a patent lawsuit is filed one would think that it would be against an individual perpetrator who infringed the non-obvious idea of the patent holder. But, how about when patents are filed against an entire class of companies. How can it be that an entire group utilized this non-obvious idea. Could it be that these patents were obvious in the first place & that everybody adopted a common and obvious practice?
Our research on the lawsuits of patent holding firms shows that a single patent or a group of related patents are being used to file lawsuits against a disparate set of companies in sometimes completely unrelated fields. The chart below highlights the number of lawsuits filed against different companies for the same patent or a group of related patents. These lawsuits were often filed on the same day or within a short timeframe. For example, eDekka used a single patent (Patent #: 06266674 - Random access information retrieval utilizing user-defined labels) as the basis for filing against 149 different firms Fab.com, Etsy & Fresh Direct in the Texas Eastern District Court.