Many of the nation’s patent lawsuits are filed in a small Texas federal courthouse. In fact, the town, Marshall, Texas, has become ground zero for firms that own patents and claim that major tech companies have infringed on them. Often the patent owners use investors’ money to do nothing buy up other patents and then file lawsuits against companies which refuse to pay licensing fees. Online retail tech giant Newegg recently lost a $2.3 million judgment in Texas to a company that asserts claims to encryption technology used in web transactions. It acquired the patent from a modem company years ago. The owner, TQP Development, has reportedly collected about $40 million in licensing fees from other companies, but Newegg refused to pay and went to trial. Newegg recently won a reversal of of a 2010 Texas jury award that it had violated another patent concerning on-line shopping carts and checkout.

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