Here’s a new wrinkle on an old con:
Delaware company Innovatio IP Ventures, LLC is scaling up its patent litigation assault against businesses that offer wireless Internet to customers, filing six infringement lawsuits this month against individual branches of some of the country’s largest hotel chains.
Innovatio is also suing Caribou Coffee, Panera Bread and other stores offering free Wi-Fi because they claim that they have some kind of patent that covers Wi-Fi. They’re looking for settlements in the range of $2,300-$5,000 — in other words, they’ve priced their lawsuit at nuisance value and hope that these companies will just pay them to go away, and do so before their whole scam gets tossed out of court. The arrogance of these grifters is astonishing:
Contemplating the company’s approach – suing the users of the technology rather than its manufacturers – a logical question emerges: Will the onslaught reach the front doors of average, WiFi-using, American households?
At least not “at this stage” of Innovatio’s “systematic campaign,” said Matthew McAndrews, a partner at Chicago-based law firm Niro, Haller & Niro, and the lead litigator for Innovatio in its infringement lawsuits. […]
Niro, Haller & Niro is the firm that inspired the term “Patent Troll“. The theory of their case is that someone who bought a toaster from Kitchen Aid that included a patented Samsung design owes Samsung a royalty on each piece of toast.