Briefing is proceeding in the Federal Circuit over the legality of shotgun complaints that name dozens of unrelated patent defendants. Such lawsuits can create coordination problems and multiply costs across defendants. The Eastern District of Texas invariably allows them to proceed. [WSJ via Google News; WSJ Law Blog] (Of course, it's not just in patent cases where a plaintiff tries to sue dozens of defendants to create a tactical advantage in coordination problems.)
Section 19 of the Patent Reform Act likely to be signed by President Obama today cracks down on such abuses. So naturally, there's a race to the courthouse to file before the bill takes effect. Rick Frenkel tells us that in the E.D. Tex., N.D. Ill., and D. Del. alone, there were 27 non-practicing entity (i.e., trolls) patent cases filed against an astonishing 417 defendants.