John Ferrell Weighs in on Wifi Patent Troll Attacks
This week, John Ferrellshared an interview with Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols about new patent troll trends targeting small businesses. Vaughan-Nichols’ story, published Wednesday on ZDNet, explored Innovato IP’s recent “shakedown” of coffee shops, hotels and other small businesses using Wi-Fi technology that Innovato claims violates its Wi-Fi patents. The notorious patent troll is attempting to charge a lump sum licensing payment of between $2,300 and $5,000, in what Vaughan Nichol’s describes as an attempt to take “patent trolling from the realm of big business patent wars such as those between Oracle and Google to small businesses.”
from ZDNet article, Patent troll Innovatio IP goes after small businesses :
John Ferrell, founding partner of Carr & Ferrell,a leading Silicon Valley technology law firm, thinks that “Ray Niro [a founder of Niro, Haller & Niro, representing Innovato IP] is a smart patent broker, and he apparently believes he can make money by picking up nickels off the street.”
Of course, “Proving up a patent infringement case is a lot more expensive than collecting statutory damages from someone who illegally downloads a copyrighted MP3 of Lady Gaga,” but “A few defendants may rollover and pay.”That said, Ferrell continued, “Suing mom and pop coffee bars on a patent case would seem to me to be a fool’s errand, unless your goal is to pay your lawyers to shut down the business. You may be able to close down Main Street using this strategy, but it’s hard to imagine that you could ever collect enough in damages to break even financially.”
In the end though, Ferrell thinks that “if this starts to look like a shake-down, I predict that a significant number of businesses will stand up and fight. There are just too many lawyers in this country, and Ray has too many enemies.”
For the full article, click here.