In the midst of a tidal wave of momentum in the fight against patent trolls, we're proud to launch Trolling Effects (trollingeffects.org), a resource to empower would-be victims of patent trolls through a crowdsourced database of patent demand letters and a clearinghouse for information on the troll epidemic.
Beginning in 2011, a patent troll named Innovatio IP Ventures, LLP, began a massive shakedown campaign. Armed with some patents purchased from Broadcom, Innovatio sent thousands of letters targeting hotels and cafes that provide Wi-Fi for customers. The troll demanded as much as $2,500 per location. Router manufacturer Cisco stepped in to defend its customers and yesterday settled with Innovatio for just 3.2 cents a unit.
Patent trolls are having a bad week. Today the New York Attorney General announced it had reached a settlement with MPHJ, the so-called scanner troll. That deal, not entirely unlike the one already in place in Minnesota, is great news for New Yorkers who have found themselves facing the notorious patent troll as well as anyone planning to do business in the Empire State.
To the extent there's a poster child for patent abuse, it's MPHJ, the infamous "scanner troll." This week's revelations show us for the first time just how much damage the patent troll has caused. Hint: it's a lot.
MPHJ owns a handful of patents, which it claims covers the basic technology for scanning documents to email. You read that right—simply scanning documents to email.
Minnesota is the latest state to join the fight against patent tolls. It announced yesterday that it reached a settlement with the "scanner troll," who claims to own the technology for scanning documents to email and has been demanding that companies large and small who use this widely available technology pay up.
Traditionally, D.C. slows down over the summer months. This year, that is not the case with patent reform. Two new bills have already been introduced since Congress returned from its July 4th recess.
The first, a comprehensive bill called the Patent Litigation and Innovation Act, was introduced by Reps. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.). It includes many of the types of reforms we've been talking about, such as:
This weekend, the New York Times published a fascinating portrait of Erich Spangenberg of IPNav, who has been called one of "one of the most notorious patent trolls in America." In the past five years, IPNav has sued 1,638 companies.
A growing number of independent game developers have received demand letters from Treehouse Avatar Technologies for allegedly violating patent 8,180,858, a "Method and system for presenting data over a network based on network user choices and collecting real-time data related to said choices." Essentially, this patent covers creating a character online, and having the game log how many times a particular character trait was ch