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Automated Transactions LLC v. American Bankers Association

LEGAL CASE

Automated Transactions LLC v. American Bankers Association

In this case, patent assertion entity Automated Transactions, LLC (“ATL”) and inventor David Barcelou filed a defamation complaint [PDF] in New Hampshire Superior Court. ATL and Barcelou allege that statements referring to them as a “patent troll” are defamatory. They also claim that characterizations of ATL’s litigation campaign as a “shakedown,” “extortion,” or “blackmail” are defamatory.

New Hampshire Superior Court Judge Brian Tucker ruled [PDF] that “patent troll” and other rhetorical characterizations are not the type of factual statements that can be the basis of a defamation claim. ATL and Barcelou appealed to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.

EFF and the ACLU of New Hampshire have submitted an amicus brief [PDF] explaining that the Superior Court got it right. The First Amendment allows critics of patent trolls to express their opinions, even with harsh or fanciful language.

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