Posts tagged with ‘trolls’
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.”
The second thing you need to know is that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has been so neglected for so many years — literally robbed of funds by Congress, which re-appropriated portions of the agency’s budget for other purposes — that the organization tasked with protecting America’s technological and scientific assets labors with too few staff and a “20-year old technology infrastructure that does not even remotely enable it to take advantage of modern information technology.”
And the most important thing you need to know about the U.S. patent system is that the America Invents Act just passed by Congress doesn’t fix any of this. Nor does it touch the larger issue of whether or not it’s wise to allow inventors to patent business processes and software and then sue the hell out of each other in a cage match that is essentially a tax on innovation.
— Christopher Mims, Technology Review, How Congress Just Failed to Fix America’s Broken Patent System.