Patent Troll Wants Your WiFi

Via Patent Examiner:

Delaware company Innovatio IP Ventures, LLC is scaling up its patent litigation assault against businesses that offer wireless Internet to customers, filing six infringement lawsuits this month against individual branches of some of the country’s largest hotel chains. It’s a new tack for the company, which began filing patent claims in March against coffee shops and restaurant chains, including Caribou Coffee, Cosí and Panera Bread Co., and department stores.

Contemplating the company’s approach – suing the users of the technology rather than its manufacturers – a logical question emerges: Will the onslaught reach the front doors of average, WiFi-using, American households?

When asked, Innovatio legal counsel responded that the company is not planning on going after individual WiFi users in their households “at this stage.” 

Instead, they are casting their patent net far and wide, asking for one-time licensing settlements of $2,300 to $5,000 from businesses such as cafes and hotels that offer their clients wireless Internet access, according to Patent Examiner.

As Patent Examiner explains, “By demanding a few thousand dollars, Innovatio ensures that, for many small business owners, taking up a legal defense won’t make financial sense.” 

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