Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 59.1. Trade and Commerce
Chapter 18.1. Bad Faith Assertions of Patent Infringement
5/14/2021

§ 59.1-215.3. Enforcement; remedies; civil investigative demands; assurances of voluntary compliance; restraining prohibited acts.

A. Whenever the Attorney General has reasonable cause to believe that any person has engaged in, or is engaging in, or is about to engage in, any violation of this chapter, the Attorney General is empowered to issue a civil investigative demand. The provisions of § 59.1-9.10 shall apply mutatis mutandis to civil investigative demands issued pursuant to this section.

B. The Attorney General or any attorney for the Commonwealth may accept an assurance of voluntary compliance with this chapter from any person subject to the provisions of this chapter. Any such assurance shall be in writing and be filed with and be subject on petition to the approval of the appropriate circuit court. Such assurance of voluntary compliance shall not be considered an admission of guilt or a violation for any purpose. Such assurance of voluntary compliance may at any time be reopened by the Attorney General or the attorney for the Commonwealth for additional orders or decrees to enforce the assurance of voluntary compliance. When an assurance is presented to the circuit court for approval, the Attorney General or the attorney for the Commonwealth shall file, in the form of a complaint, the allegations that form the basis for the entry of the assurance. The assurance may provide by its terms for any relief that an appropriate circuit court could grant, including but not limited to arbitration of disputes between a person subject to the provisions of this chapter and any targets, investigative expenses, civil penalties, and costs, provided, however, that nothing in this chapter shall be construed to authorize or require the Commonwealth, the Attorney General, or any attorney for the Commonwealth to participate in arbitration of violations under this section.

C. Notwithstanding any other provisions of law to the contrary, the Attorney General or any attorney for the Commonwealth may cause an action to be brought in the appropriate circuit court in the name of the Commonwealth to enjoin any violation of this chapter. The circuit court having jurisdiction may enjoin such violations notwithstanding the existence of an adequate remedy at law. In any action under this section, it shall not be necessary that damages be proved. Unless the Attorney General or the attorney for the Commonwealth determines that a person subject to the provisions of this chapter intends to depart from the Commonwealth or to remove his property from the Commonwealth, or to conceal himself or his property within the Commonwealth, or on a reasonable determination that irreparable harm may occur if immediate action is not taken, the Attorney General or the attorney for the Commonwealth shall, before initiating any legal proceedings as provided in this section, give notice in writing that such proceedings are contemplated and allow such person a reasonable opportunity to show that a violation did not occur or execute an assurance of voluntary compliance as provided in subsection B. The circuit courts are authorized to issue temporary or permanent injunctions to restrain and prevent violations of this chapter. The circuit court also may award to the Commonwealth a civil penalty of not more than $2,500 for each violation, reasonable expenses incurred in investigating and preparing the case, and attorneys' fees.

D. Any person outside the Commonwealth asserting patent infringement to a target shall be deemed to be transacting business within the Commonwealth within the meaning of subdivision A 1 of § 8.01-328.1 and shall thereby be subject to the jurisdiction of the courts of the Commonwealth.

E. The enforcement provisions of this section shall be exercised solely by the Attorney General or an attorney for the Commonwealth. Nothing in this chapter shall create a private cause of action in favor of any person aggrieved by a violation of this chapter.

F. Nothing in this chapter authorizes the courts of the Commonwealth, the Attorney General, or any attorney for the Commonwealth to exercise jurisdiction over a claim for relief arising under an Act of Congress relating to patents.

2014, cc. 810, 819.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.