The Nebraska Attorney General's Office said Thursday that it is withdrawing a cease-and-desist order directed at a Texas law firm that represents patent companies who have come under criticism for aggressively pursuing infringement claims.
The now withdrawn cease-and-desist order related to patent infringement inquiry letters sent by the Farney Daniels law firm to Nebraska residents and businesses.
"We view this action as a positive development toward securing a vindication of our position that our clients and our firm acted lawfully and properly in enforcing their patent rights," said Brett Johnson, a Farney Daniels attorney.
The Attorney General's Office said in a letter to the firm that it will continue to investigate “to the extent there are violations of the Consumer Protection Act and the Uniform Trade Practices Act.”
Last month, a federal judge ruled that Attorney General Jon Bruning was legally barred from attempting to stop Farney Daniels from representing a client in U.S. District Court in Omaha pursuing a patent infringement lawsuit.
Bruning testified before Congress this month, saying companies that own lots of obscure tech patents are harassing consumers in Nebraska who have bought simple items such as document scanners. He called for Congress to stop such acts and for a multistate task force to be formed.
Thursday, Deputy Attorney General David Cookson said in an interview: “The cease-and-desist litigation was a distraction from the ongoing investigation.”
He said state attorneys general and Congress are interested in stopping aggressive enforcement tactics against consumers.