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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Patent Trolls Seeking Wi-fi License Fees? 347

Posted by samzenpus
from the send-us-your-money dept.
An anonymous reader writes "My company has been contacted by certified letter by Delaware law firm. They are seeking license fees for a Wi-fi patent. I believe this is a patent troll (not that this matters in relation to dealing with this issue). This is a newly formed law firm less than 4 months old. This patent is U.S. Patent No. 5,506,866. This patent covers equipment and method related to the transmission of information involving the multiplexing information into a stream of signal points (and demultiplexing the same), and related technology. They have 'offered' to license this patent with no amounts specified. Unfortunately we are a small free software company. The company is setup as a sole proprietorship. I'm not asking for legal advise from the Slashdot community. The question is where might one look for 'legal counsel' with the expertise to answer these types of legal questions as it relates to this inquiry. I would prefer to avoid legal fees, court cases, or license fees running the company into the ground. The company is registered in New Jersey."
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Ask Slashdot: What To Do About Patent Trolls Seeking Wi-fi License Fees?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 03, 2013 @02:28PM (#42778997)

    You're a free software company yes? If so then you can offer to give them a percentage of profit from each software sale you make (being zero). You'll probably have to swing that idea by a lawyer, but I say screw them.

  • See an IP laywer. (Score:3, Informative)

    by sanchom (1681398) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @02:28PM (#42779003)

    Wwhere might one look for 'legal counsel' with the expertise to answer these types of legal questions as it relates to this inquiry. I would prefer to avoid legal fees, court cases, or license fees running the company into the ground.

    You should see an IP laywer. While this won't avoid you all legal fees, you'll be able to get some basic answers for a small cost, and it will let you know if your other constraints (avoiding court or license fees) are reasonable.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by sanchom (1681398)
    • by Daniel_Staal (609844) <DStaal@usa.net> on Sunday February 03, 2013 @03:21PM (#42779475)

      If the OP truly believes that this is a patent troll attacking them, the best thing may be to just ignore them. It's like spam: They are seeing who bites, and then they can reel you in for a settlement. If they send a couple of letters and don't get any response (especially from a small company that may have gone out of business without notifying anyone), they'll just move on to their next possible target.

      Ars Technica had an article on this recently, though I can't find it quickly at the moment. It most cases, the best response was to just ignore the first couple of letters.

      • by citizenr (871508) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @04:19PM (#42779843) Homepage

        If the OP truly believes that this is a patent troll attacking them, the best thing may be to just ignore them. It's like spam: They are seeing who bites, and then they can reel you in for a settlement. If they send a couple of letters and don't get any response (especially from a small company that may have gone out of business without notifying anyone), they'll just move on to their next possible target.

        This, or hire a hitman to kill their Lawyer, and couple of lawyers that will be replacing the first one. Eventually they will stop replacing them. This will still be cheaper than litigation.

      • by countach (534280) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @06:40PM (#42780767)

        That might be good advice. Wait for them to file in court to see if they're serious. Also, structure your company so that if they win, they get nothing, but an empty shell of nothing. If they ever do file in court, point out to them they can't get anything.

  • Curious (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 03, 2013 @02:28PM (#42779005)

    What are the repercussions or ramifications of you writing back,

    "Fuck you, we're not going to play this game."

    Serious question.

    • Re:Curious (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 03, 2013 @02:39PM (#42779131)

      Being organized as a sole proprietorship means his personal assets are at risk. These types of legal debts are not disposable by bankruptcy, so they could follow him around the rest of his life.

      • Re:Curious (Score:5, Insightful)

        by postbigbang (761081) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @03:02PM (#42779317)

        Which is sadly the reason to incorporate, or do an LLC/LLP, etc., and join the madness of shielding yourselve personal assets from the trolls.

        Sad to have to recommend it, but litigation, whether you're right or wrong, is expensive. Welcome to the game. You start out by losing.

        • by Xacid (560407)

          I recently took a business class and one of our speakers referred to "The LLC barrier has been punctured so now your best bet is to go with an S-Corp" if I recall correctly. Anyone have any insight on this?

      • by mkoenecke (249261)
        Umm... exactly how are these types of legal debts not disposable by bankruptcy? IAAL, and as far as I know non-dischargeable debts are things like taxes, child support obligations, student loan debts, and secured debts (to the extent of the security).
        • What is meant by that is that the OPs personal assets (house, savings etc) are on the line if he takes it to court. If he had a limited liability company, then should the company lose the court case, it's only the companies assets that are up for grabs, and if you play your cards right, the company doesn't have any assets to seize.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Anonymous Coward

            I set up a sole-proprieter LLC and when I did so they made it quite clear that being an LLC was not a magic shield for my personal assets. If I had set up an S-corp or a C-corp, maybe - but with certain flavors of LLC, you and the company are essentially treated as one entity. If the "business" doesn't have any assets, they can certainly try to get them from "you".

      • Well then hes a dumbass for not going full Corp. You cant play with the big dogs if they know they can take your personal property.
    • It'd be cheaper to take a hit out on the guy who filed the lawsuit.

    • It might be a mistake to contact them in any way except as advised by legal counsel. I know nothing of the law in this area, but someone I know was once contacted by an organization trying to collect an alleged debt of a dead person, and the legal advice in that case was that to acknowledge the correspondence could make things more difficult.
       

    • by boaworm (180781)

      There is a lot of great wisdom here:

      http://static.thepiratebay.se/dreamworks_response.txt [thepiratebay.se]

      and

      http://static.thepiratebay.se/ea_response.txt [thepiratebay.se]

    • Re:Curious (Score:5, Informative)

      by rolfwind (528248) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @06:22PM (#42780635)

      What are the repercussions or ramifications of you writing back,

      "Fuck you, we're not going to play this game."

      Serious question.

      This is not a schoolyard bully you have to stand up to. This is a parasitic business. I would just say ignore. A response, any response, refreshes you on their radar. Any response also can be used against you later. Do not engage, better to maintain silence and see their next move.

      Maybe they try to engage anyway but with luck, they just move on their merry way, either finding other more compliant suckers or deciding on a new venture. They want easy money, not litigation and uncertainties.

    • Re:Curious (Score:4, Informative)

      by stephanruby (542433) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @09:43PM (#42781875)

      What are the repercussions or ramifications of you writing back,

      "Fuck you, we're not going to play this game."

      Serious question.

      He says the letter was certified. Does it mean he actually signed for the letter himself? Because acknowledging the receipt of that letter wouldn't be a good idea, especially since that patent expires in April of this year.

      Generally speaking, it's always better to keep quiet, than to send back profanity, because by sending back that note, you'd not only be acknowledging that you received the letter, but you'd be implying that you're using Wi-fi.

      Another thing he should try to do is see if anyone else received the same letter, and what they did about it. That means he should try a couple of exact Google string searches, in Incognito Mode, on a couple of unique strings in the letter he received.

      Also, he should check if the law firm/lawyer(s) in question is certified by a State Bar Association.

  • Contact an atty. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 03, 2013 @02:29PM (#42779025)

    You should find yourself an attorney.

    1) this patent was filed in 1993, making it a 17 years from issue date patent. Based upon it's issue date of April 9, 1996, it expires (dies) on April 9, 2013. So in a very very short time, the patent will be useless anyway.

    2) What is claimed is based upon side channel data in a simultaneous analog/digital signal. It is very unlikely to actually apply to WiFi, but if they can scare you into paying them, then they win. With a competent atty., it is very likely you can make them look elsewhere for victims they can frighten into settlements.

    • Re:Contact an atty. (Score:5, Informative)

      by arbiter1 (1204146) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @02:53PM (#42779227)
      Might be something to talk to the EFF on? They might be able to help you with answers to some of your question's as they have lawyers fight these kinds of things.
    • Re:Contact an atty. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Dachannien (617929) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @02:59PM (#42779297)

      It actually expires 15 November 2013, 20 years from the filing date, because patents in force or pending as of the 1995 change in patent term get whichever term would be longer.

      Keep in mind that the expiration of a patent doesn't immediately mean that you're in the clear. You can still be sued for infringement that occurred during the patent term, and they can file the suit anytime until the statute of limitations runs out (I think that's 3 years, but ask a lawyer).

    • Re:Contact an atty. (Score:4, Informative)

      by s.petry (762400) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @03:34PM (#42779587)

      No often that I agree with ACs, but in this case I do. Nice job AC!

      There is an unfortunate reality that the system is currently very broken. Get an attorney, and start gathering evidence to deny their claim. EFF is a great place to go, and there are other sites like Groklaw that help gather patent invalidation evidence. Important: I'm not saying go to Groklaw, it may not work, as the lawsuit needs to be relevant to the site's area of interest.

      EFF can help your company file the paperwork to the USPTO, which is required to invalidate the patent. Even if the patent is invalidated in court, the court's hands may be tied as the USPTO still shows the patent as valid.

      If you have the resources, why not invalidate more than one of the trolls patents? Sometimes it only takes loud noises to pull the dogs off the trail.

      An important thing _not_ to do fight it without legal assistance (and more obviously try to ignore the troll). It's easy to get tripped up in legal protocol and lose before you ever start fighting back, which is a tactic often used by trolls. Remember that while you have a business to run, these people's business is suing people.

  • by Kwpolska (2026252) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @02:33PM (#42779059)
    Would Canada work for those purposes? I guess so.
  • Contact EFF (Score:5, Insightful)

    by folderol (1965326) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @02:33PM (#42779065) Homepage
    See title. Also don't reply until you absolutely HAVE to. Paten runs out this year!
    • If the patent runs out this year, sounds like stalling tactics are exactly the right way to go. Perhaps a pro-bono letter from a lawyer saying "we're examining the validity of your claim and we'll get back to you on that".

      • Perhaps a pro-bono letter from a lawyer saying "we're examining the validity of your claim and we'll get back to you on that".

        Come on, if you're not in poverty, pay the lawyer. It's not going to be too expensive to get a letter. Lawyers need to eat too, if you appreciate their services, pay them for it.

        • Among many reasons, this is one of the reasons why I keep in touch with my friends from high school. One in particular is a lawyer, and I've asked him all kinds of questions. In a simple case like this, he'll do it pro-bono because he just can't see a merit in their case. On the other hand, I have hired him to do several pieces of work which needed a bit more than just a letter. Paid him well for it too

          • What's a meeting and a letter going to cost? Pay a lawyer a couple of hundred bucks. If this is just some sort of scam, a letter from an attorney will more than likely send the guy running. If it's legit, then you're definitely going to want legal counsel.

      • Re:Contact EFF (Score:5, Interesting)

        by DRJlaw (946416) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @03:11PM (#42779391)

        If the patent runs out this year, sounds like stalling tactics are exactly the right way to go. Perhaps a pro-bono letter from a lawyer saying "we're examining the validity of your claim and we'll get back to you on that".

        Except for the minor problem that you can sue for patent infringement even after the patent expires, since the 'statute of limitation' for infringement damages goes back 6 years.

        You'd be amazed at the sort of advice that you can obtain from lawyers who have actually studied the law, as opposed to joe-yank-an-answer-out-of-his-hindquarters.

    • Backing up folderol on this. Keep your mouth shut until you talk to YOUR lawyer.
    • Re:Contact EFF (Score:5, Informative)

      by Stephan Schulz (948) <schulz@informatik.tu-muenchen.de> on Sunday February 03, 2013 @03:23PM (#42779501) Homepage
      EFF might help. But this is more in line with the Software Freedom Law Center [softwarefreedom.org]. Defending FOSS developers against unjustified patent claims is part of their mission.
  • by Rob Riggs (6418) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @02:37PM (#42779115) Homepage Journal
    It's the only way to be sure.
  • by Gordonjcp (186804) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @02:42PM (#42779165) Homepage

    ... and accordingly, under $other_country law, you plan to enact a plea of Incenderunt Ad Officium. Then ask them exactly *when* they'd like the five gallons of petrol delivered to their letterbox.

  • similar or same thing?. Maybe some ideas about approching this can be found there:
    http://patentexaminer.org/2011/09/innovatios-infringement-suit-rampage-expands-to-corporate-hotels/

  • by dentin (2175) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @02:44PM (#42779179) Homepage

    This patent is explicitly for PSTN modems, from the looks of it low rate V34 or V17, and is extremely unlikely to be held legitimate or even remotely applicable to WiFi if you go to court/war over it. Further, it expires very soon, so it may be best to not respond and wait for expiration. Simply looking at the diagrams included in the patent text may be sufficient to get the case thrown out, should it come to that. However, by that point, you will have wasted a ton of money.

    Probably the best approach is to not respond, and do no further releases until its expiration in april so that if a suit arrives, you can say that you immediately stopped using the offending code. I don't know that I would even bother to hire an attorney given what I see in the patent, but that's up to you.

    • No, the best approach is to discuss the case with competent legal counsel. NOT listening to the static on Slashdot.

      Unfortunately, legal issues crop up all of the time. It is truly a cost of doing business. Initial consultations are typically pretty reasonable and someone else has thoughtfully provided a nice list of IP attorneys. Your local or regional Bar Association can do the same, as can many general attorneys.

      • by Rob the Bold (788862) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @06:03PM (#42780479)

        No, the best approach is to discuss the case with competent legal counsel.

        That might not be true in this case. According to this story [arstechnica.com] at Ars Technica

        The best strategy for target companies? It may be to ignore the letters, at least for now. “Ignorance, surprisingly, works,” noted Prof. Chien in an e-mail exchange with Ars.

        Her study of startups targeted by patent trolls found that when confronted with a patent demand, 22 percent ignored it entirely. Compare that with the 35 percent that decided to fight back and 18 percent that folded. Ignoring the demand was the cheapest option ($3,000 on average) versus fighting in court, which was the most expensive ($870,000 on average).

        The "Professor Chien" referred to is a law professor and the author of Startups and Patent Trolls [ssrn.com].

  • Others have noted that the patent should expire this year. You mentioned that you are a small software vendor - I understand from that that you have about 20 guys at work. Could you operate without WIFI?

    Seriously. Turn the WIFI radios of from all laptops and have cables on all desks and in meeting rooms. It's really not that hard.

    I have no idea if that would work legally, but technically it's doable. Then you could reply that you are not using any infringing technology.

  • Probably too late for you, but my first thought was: Register a corporation, sell all of your business assets to that corporation for a dollar. It may be too late though; the courts tend to frown on this sort of thing, especially for small players. Plus, you may have been infringing as your sole proprietorship all these years and still be liable personally.

    I hope you have $5,000-10,000 sitting around to find out if this actually applies to you and at least attempt to make them go away.

    A question, though: wa

  • Given the content of the patent, near-term expiration, and the fact that you were specifically targeted as a small business unlikely to have significant resources, the entire business model of this "law firm" revolves around extorting "license fees" from scared small businesses like yours. If you voluntarily agree to pay them, they win. If you tell them to buzz off, they move on to find the next sucker.

    What _doesn't_ fit in to their business model is taking even one person to court. The cost of a single sui

  • I'm assuming that your company has an attorney? This is the point where they need to lean heavily on their social contacts to find someone who specializes in either:
    a) Patents
    b) Tech
    c) Both (preferably)

    Otherwise, I'd ask as many competent people that you know/trust to go through their rolodexes for "friends of friends". As a last resort, I guess you could visit some of the places where prominent opensource folk hang out. Hell, amazing things have happened on Reddit, so see if you can get some traction there

    • by Jherico (39763)
      He got a threatening letter from a law firm, not a summons. If they brought an actual case against him you would be correct that ignoring it would be stupid, but ignoring asshat extortion lawyergrams is a perfectly legitimate tactic.
  • Isn't is a shame (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Overzeetop (214511) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @03:00PM (#42779303) Journal

    Isn't it a shame that there isn't a significant, statutory penalty for filing or threatening to file a false claim?

  • by kawabago (551139) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @03:01PM (#42779309)
    The Groklaw community will give you plenty of help. Just ask!
  • If it's a random contact (which it probably is ... and unjustifiable, at that), they won't try twice. If it's serious, you'll hear from them again.
  • Call your state bar association. Explain the situation as you have here, that you believe this law firm is possibly abusing the system in an effort to intimidate small businesses like yours into paying since that would likely cost less than hiring a law firm with expertise in patent law. Ask them to recommend some options, e.g., a non-profit legal center or a firm that wouldn't end up costing you much in return for sending a response to these guys basically just telling them to back off. You might also cons
  • by SplatMan_DK (1035528) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @03:08PM (#42779359) Homepage Journal

    You should always answer a lawyer who sends you a letter. Even a troll. Just make sure your answer is either useless to them or can be used to stall the case.

    For example you could send a letter explaining that you don't believe your company infringes on said patent amd ask for clarification on why they believe otherwise.

    When you get an answer to that, your next letter should be a series of questions asking how they know stuff about your company. Ask them where they got their information from, and ask them to provide a full report on all data collected about you or the company. They may very well be legally obligated to respond to inquiries about collected data.

    Finally, ask them for instructions on how they believe you can stop infringing the patent. Explain you have no desire to infringe on it, that you believe you are indeed not, but that you would be happe to evaluate any suggestions they might have regarding ways to ensure the alleged infringement.

    Each time wait 7-9 days before responding.

    If they get difficult ask for a personal meeting at your office and make sure to explain how busy you are when you apoligize for being unavailable until ... approx 9-17 days later.

    By the time you are done with this the patent expiation date will be closer and they will have wasted a ton of time. Also should the case ever get to trial you can show that you have honestly tried to cooperate in any way possible (short on paying for the infringement you don't believe is taking place).

    It is almost as much fun as fooling nigerian scammers.

    Put them to work. It isn't really that hard. :-)

    - Jesper

    • Apologies for typos. Slashdots edit field sucks on a cell with mobile Chrome :-/ /J

    • by MarioMax (907837) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @03:50PM (#42779671)

      IANAL, but I would also ask for proof that they actually own the patent, or are legal representatives of the patent owner.

    • by Jiro (131519) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @04:04PM (#42779743)

      As has been pointed out by others here, even if the patent expires you can be on the hook for damages for acts committed before expiration. In other words, you just gave lousy legal advice.

      The answer here is always "call a lawyer", not "listen to any advice anyone on Slashdot gives you" (except advice on calling a lawyer).

      Furthermore, the guy asking the question knows this and asked where to look for legal counsel. He specifically said he was not asking for legal advice from Slashdot. So why is it half the people answering this question are trying to give legal advice?

    • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 03, 2013 @04:44PM (#42780015)

      "You should always answer a lawyer who sends you a letter."

      Nope. I am a patent lawyer. I would recommend ignoring the first letter unless they have actually filed suit against you (it doesn't sound like they did). However, if this is simply a demand letter, then your opening a dialog with them helps them.

      Chances are, you will not hear from these guys again. If you do, you should start contacting your wifi gear manufacture and the EFF to find others that are being threatened so that you can set a joint defense fund and fight the guys by spreading costs among many. If you do respond, you should state that you do not believe that or understand how you infringe and ask for more detailed information.

  • But if it get serious, close the company, and open again with new name.

  • The patent in question is for "Side-channel communications in simultaneous voice and data transmission "

    Does this apply to you? How? I run a business, and I use WiFi. I couldn't figure out how the legal threat applies to me. Can you think of how exactly this applies to you? If not, you could simply ignore the letter.

    And while I am not an attorney, if you are going to get sued then sole-proprietorship is kinda risky if you have significant personal assets. Think about converting to a LLC. They can stil
  • ... should be the next monkey sent to space by the Iranian Space Programm.

  • by Okian Warrior (537106) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @03:30PM (#42779543) Homepage Journal

    You shouldn't have accepted the certified letter.

    Certified letters have to have the sender noted on the slip that you get from the post office. Sometimes the post office doesn't do this (I have to remind my postal carrier all the time), but if you return the slip with "WHO IS THE SENDER?" written on it then they will fill it out properly and redeliver it.

    If the sender isn't someone you know, or with whom you have a business arrangement (and from whom you might be expecting such a letter), don't take delivery. Don't send it back "refused delivery", just don't go get it. You can claim that you were out of town, never got the note, never had time to get it, or otherwise had a legitimate excuse. They can't do anything unless they have proof of "notice of service", which means that they have proof that they contacted you for the suit.

    A certified letter is proof of service (ie - you were served with the letter), and they can use this to file suit against you.

    If you don't accept the letter, they have to hire someone to personally hand you the notice. This costs them money - in my area the sheriff charges $80 for serving letters. The sheriff will get to it "when he gets to it", which in practice means anywhere from 2 weeks to never.

    (As a personal anecdote, some bank in NYC decided from their internal records that they had been paying my NH property taxes for the last 5 years, and "would I just enclose a check for this and send it back"? I never accepted any of their certified letters, and they couldn't be bothered to send a person out to deliver the notice personally. Eventually they gave up. I had cancelled checks going back 5 years, but couldn't convince them otherwise because "their records showed payments for the last 5 years.")

    This is one way to deal with frivolous lawsuits. If the lawsuit is genuine, then these sorts of barriers won't matter and you can address the legitimate legal issues. If the lawsuit is genuine and is something that you should address, then they should have no problem sending you information in a regular letter, which isn't considered proof of service.

    I know this advice will cause the real lawyers here to cringe and complain, but then again they don't have any good ways to block frivolous suits.

  • by garry_g (106621) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @03:32PM (#42779575)

    While I'm not very experienced in US and IP law, I don't understand how a user of a commercially available product can be held liable for using something he just bought. How should one be expected to ensure that every piece of hardware you buy on the open market is legal as far as IP and licensing goes?
    Sounds to me like it's a complete scare tactics on the side of this lawyer, and should be punishable by law ... including damages payments for the company targeted in this way ...

    But then, when has the legal system been sane and understandable for any person with at least half a brain ...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 03, 2013 @03:46PM (#42779647)

    While it might not directly apply to you, this might still be worth to consider.

    http://www.ted.com/talks/drew_curtis_how_i_beat_a_patent_troll.html

    Trolls want to make money, you might want to make sure that they know that they won't get money from you (you rather spend it fighting them) and that you will not make it easy for them...

  • Pound sand, lawyer scum! Sincerely,
  • by lkcl (517947) <lkcl@lkcl.net> on Sunday February 03, 2013 @04:05PM (#42779757) Homepage

    if you are actively involved in free software, you automatically qualify for free assistance from the Software Freedom Law Centre. phone them up, immediately. do not hang around. also you did the right thing asking around: do more of that, and specifically ask people to find prior art. look up what newegg did. the article was on here last week.

  • based on a very quick search, you can tell them to go fuck themselves. here's the patent:
    http://www.google.com/patents/US5506866?printsec=abstract#v=onepage&q&f=false [google.com]

    it's originally by AT&T. it's a patent on the means to combine simultaneous voice and data onto a single line. the submission date is in 1993.

    however, if you look at this: http://www.tutorialspoint.com/gsm/gsm_overview.htm [tutorialspoint.com]

    you will see that GSM was started as far back as 1982. GSM includes GPRS, which includes a means to combine

  • One my ex bitches wrote me a bad check...CA law puts a lot of power in your hands if you get a bad check. However you have to contact them by registered mail with the legal document saying they owe you double the amount. The best defense? All she did was refuse the letter. You power goes out the window. Nothing to do past that but small claims court. I have yet to see a penny that is owed me.

    If you don't know the sender, don't accept registered mail, there is no legal requirement to do so. Return to sender,

  • Drew Curtis had some interesting ideas on fighting patent trolls. In cases, like this, you ask the patent trolls for explicit evidence of infringement, in which case, this puts the burden of proof on them. This isn't legal advice, but could provide some direction as to fighting back. Drew Curtis How I beat a patent troll [ted.com]
  • You are not alone (Score:5, Informative)

    by the eric conspiracy (20178) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @05:51PM (#42780379)

    Many businesses are receiving letters like this. It's a fraud.

    You might want to read this article:

    http://www.dslreports.com/shownews/Cisco-Motorola-Netgear-Aim-Cannons-At-WiFi-Patent-Troll-121594 [dslreports.com]

    And this:

    http://www.techdirt.com/blog/wireless/articles/20121009/01444620656/cisco-motorola-netgear-team-up-to-expose-wifi-patent-bully.shtml [techdirt.com]

    "Last year, we wrote about a crazy patent troll, named Innovatio, who had sued a ton of restaurants and hotels, claiming that anyone who used WiFi was violating its patents. It was even claiming that individuals who use WiFi at home infringed too -- but that it wouldn't go after them "at this time." Instead, it preferred to focus on shaking down tons of small businesses, offering to settle for $2,500 to $3,000 -- which is cheaper than hiring a lawyer to fight it, no matter how bogus. We noted at the time that Motorola and Cisco had gone to court to try to get a declaratory judgment to protect its customers. "

  • Read this paper (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Rob the Bold (788862) on Sunday February 03, 2013 @06:07PM (#42780495)
    Read this paper: Startups and Patent Trolls [ssrn.com] by Prof. Colleen V. Chien, Santa Clara University School of Law.

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