If you use the Scan-to-Email function on the printer/scanner in your small business, Patent Trolls are looking for you!

Posted: May 10, 2013 by IntentionalPrivacy in Intellectual Property
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What’s a “Patent Troll”? One definition of a patent troll is an organization that owns a patent which it intends to use for the sole purpose of suing someone else. A patent troll typically does not market or manufacture the product that the patent covers. The FTC calls them “patent assertion entities” or PAEs, and recently released a 309-page report on patents available here http://www.ftc.gov/os/2011/03/110307patentreport.pdf.

Why would you care? Well, according to articles in Ars Technica, a patent troll recently has been sending letters out to small businesses of between 10-100 employees demanding that they pay a licensing fee per employee for using the scan-to-email function on their multifunction printer because of patents owned by MPHJ Technology. You can read more details of this story in http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/04/meet-the-nice-guy-lawyers-who-want-1000-per-worker-for-using-scanners/.

Personally, I found the promoted comment from Dinglehoser (who says he is a patent attorney) on page 2 at the bottom of this article http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2013/01/patent-trolls-want-1000-for-using-scanners/2/ enlightening. His comment talks about AIA, the America Invents Act, and how it could affect patent trolls. According to http://www.lexisnexis.com/community/patentlaw/blogs/patentlegislationandreform/archive/2013/02/19/patents-post-grant-patent-trolls-drive-demand-for-new-aia-post-grant-proceedings.aspx, AIA is supposed to make patent litigation faster and more cost-effective.

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