The Class Action Lawsuit Against AES Inc. Is a Class Action Lawsuit!

Recently, I read an interesting article regarding the possibility of an open source software lawsuit against Aes. In this case, one patent was issued to yet another patent applicant, despite the fact that the first application was found to be legally defective. The case was heard by the Patent Office. The fact that the Patent Office ignored the obvious obviousness of the prior art, is really scary. Is the USPTO moving closer to criminalizing the sharing of information online? Please consider all this.

As one attorney said recently, “The only way to prevent such a lawsuit from happening is to require that all patents are clear.” Please see my later post for a discussion of what should be done here. However, I would submit to you that such a requirement is not needed. Why? Simply because courts have never before required a patentee to disclose prior art on patented ideas or technology!

Why is there a need to make information more available prior to granting patents? Well, the answer is simple. Patents are not free property, and in the United States the attorney general can force a patentee to reveal prior art (knowledge of the invention) if he does not want to. You see, the USPTO needs the ability to collect information to ensure its patent applications are valid. If they cannot find that information, the patent will be thrown out.

And if the plaintiff wins the lawsuit and obtains the documents? You guessed it – the defendant can then use those documents against the plaintiff in their defense against the class action lawsuit. Is that what we’re trying to prevent here? Not necessarily, although the attorneys would like us to believe so.

What we need to be focusing on instead, as do many patent attorneys across the country, is to encourage the USPTO to perform its role as a third-party publisher of this information. This would allow us to publish the prior art and prevent discovery and the production of adversarial litigation from happening. Indeed, this is exactly what happened when the USPTO made the discovery rule changes in 2021.

One could argue that perhaps the plaintiffs should have been more careful not to disclose prior art prior to the issuance of the patents. Indeed, that may very well be true. However, if that is the case, and I believe that it is, then the plaintiff’s strategy of using the courts to seek damages from aeshetics defendants who were protected by good faith patenting by the prior art rules should not be allowed. Period. The plaintiff should be permitted to use that prior art in its entirety, and if it is deemed relevant, the patent should be granted. However, the plaintiff has to be willing to stop leaking its dirty linen before it gets dirty.

2 thoughts on “The Class Action Lawsuit Against AES Inc. Is a Class Action Lawsuit!

  1. I believe I have a lawsuit against AES. I would like to sue them or join a class action lawsuit against AES PHEAA. They are in violation of a contract that I signed with them. I can reveal the specifics when I connect with someone at your agency. Thanks for your time and consideration.

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