There is a somewhat loaded term in the patent ligitation industry: "Patent Troll". Depending on who you ask [and believe], a patent troll is a "little guy" that gets a patent, does not actually manufacture anything, then sues and gets a settlement for nothing more than the nuisance value of the "big guy" having to defend itself in court. A recent case [Eon-Net, L.P. et al. v. Flagstar Bancorp, Inc.] discusses one possible instance of this and cites the following behavior:
“Eon-Net’s complaint was virtually identical to numerous other complaints filed against parties with greatly disparate business operations;”
“Eon-Net followed service of the complaint with a cheap offer of settlement;”
“After Flagstar showed Eon-Net that its software was from a licensee to Eon-Net’s patent, and after Flagstar moved for summary judgment of noninfringement, Eon-Net identified other allegedly infringing software that was not identified in its complaint;”
“Eon-Net based its infringement allegation on an investigation of Flagstar’s website but that counsel did not obtain copies of the allegedly infringing software, was unable to determine how the web page worked, and did not evaluate the code;”
“Eon-Net presented no evidence or argument to support its [new infringement] position;”
“not only did Eon-Net fail to obtain or inspect copies of the software, it failed to even identify the software;”
“Eon-Net did not explain how it concluded that the ‘697 Patent could be construed to cover web-based forms;”
“indicia of extortion are present in this case;”
“Eon-Net offers a nuisance settlement at the outset to avoid a hard look at the merits of its infringement claims.”
James Lindon, Ph.D. Patent Attorney
Lindon & Lindon, LLC
Patents, Trademarks, Copyrights, Pharmacy Law, Litigation
[this is not legal advice - provided for discussion only]
Intellectual Property for the Individual and Small Business: Identify, Protect, Enforce, Defend.
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