The patent trolling situation is getting beyond ridiculous. The bloody troll bullies from Innovatio are suing owners of franchise hotels and coffee shops. In fact, their plan is to sue everyone using Wi-Fi, although you're not on their list. Yet:
Innovatio has made a strategic and business judgment at this stage that it doesn't intend to pursue [lawsuits on the basis of] residential use of WiFi.
Those are the words of a lawyer who goes by the name of Matthew G. McAndrews—you can see his shiny chubby face below. He works at Niro, Haller & Niro, who is representing Innovatio. Despite its name, Innovatio is not innovating or producing anything. Zero products. It just bought some patents and these lawyers—who happen to have their office right next to them! COINCIDENCE!—think it can make a $$$PROFIT$$$ out of it. According to this good fella, they just want their "client to get his due share."
He says "this is not a seat-of-the-pants, fly-by-night shakedown." Of course it's not. This is a great, very smart plan. Defendants have already settled for amounts going from $2,300 to $5,000. That's exactly the trick: they sue for low amounts, so small that hiring a lawyer to just look at the case would be a lot costlier than giving up and paying right away. The small business really can't do anything but pay when they receive the letter from Niro, Haller & Niro. I don't know about you, but doesn't that sound a little bit like a very elegant, completely legal form of blackmail? I'm not a legal expert and my English is bad, but I've seen a lot of Scorsese movies.
Motorola and Cisco have filed complaints asking the court to declare that their Wi-Fi routers don't infringe these stupid patents but, at these stage of the proceedings, I think every single computer company—from Intel to Microsoft to Apple—should sue these bastards into the ground. Or perhaps the Attorney General should do something about it. Not only to get them out of circulation, but to put them in jail for good.
I wouldn't be surprised if Anonymous or LulzSec did something about it too. After all, these patent trolls' ultimate objective is to milk everyone for as much as they can. Perhaps the hackers who use Wi-Fi at these type of establishments think it's time for someone to use the same bullying tactics on Innovatio, Niro & Cronies. [Patent Examiner]