Court Rules That “Patent Troll” is Opinion, Not Defamation | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

Court Rules That “Patent Troll” is Opinion, Not Defamation

By Joe Mullin

Free speech in the patent world saw a big win on Friday, when the New Hampshire Supreme Court held that calling someone a “patent troll” doesn’t constitute defamation. The court’s opinion is good news for critics of abusive patent litigation, and anyone who values robust public debate around patent policy. The opinion represents a loss for Automated Transactions, LLC (ATL), a patent assertion entity that sued more than a dozen people and trade groups claiming it was defamed.

EFF worked together with the ACLU of New Hampshire to file an amicus brief [PDF] in this case, explaining that the lower court judge got this case right when he ruled against ATL. That decision gave wide latitude for public debate about important policy issues—even when the debate veers into harsh language. We’re glad the New Hampshire Supreme Court agreed...

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