So, a new way for patent lawyers to get rich, this time by being “public spirited”. Since anyone can file these suits on behalf of, and shares the proceeds with the DoJ, maybe the best thing these companies can do to protect themselves is to sue themselves before anyone else does!
I like one of the comments in that article:
“You’re paying the hostage fee,” says Mark Willard, a lawyer who represented hand-tool manufacturer Ames True Temper Co. in a suit involving a shrub rake.”
It’s a shame it isn’t one of the bigger companies. Someone find an expired patent on some Sony gear or CDs, sue them and see how they like “hostage fees” ala RIAA 😉
Out of the two types of patent suit then I think this is the least of most people’s trouble, but it is a bit exploitative. They’re claiming “public spirit” but I’m sure they wouldn’t be doing anywhere near as much if they didn’t benefit financially. I hope that there’s some kind of allowance for the “That shop has really old stock, your honour” situation.
All views expressed on this blog are those of Simon Phipps and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other entity, including current and former employers and clients. See my full disclosure of interests.