|Sent on:||Thursday, March 14, 2013 8:59 AM|
When are people in the USA going to say enough is enough and demand change.
Infringement suits brought by patent trolls -- or "nonpracticing entities," as they're more formally called -- are a nebulous threat, but a handful of entities have become notorious for suing over patents that cover seemingly pervasive technology.
The potentially catastrophic outcome for an agency is ending up in court over an infringement claim. That happened to San Francisco-based digital shop Fluid about five years ago. A retail client was sued over a web application that enabled a manufacturer's representative to plug information from an end user's shopping cart into a database, and the agency was contractually required to indemnify the client.
Digitaria has had run-ins with nonpracticing entities on four occasions. In one case it had to split a licensing fee with its client, a large hotel chain. (It paid half of a $50,000 fee to an entity that claimed an iPhone app with locator functionality to show which hotels were in the user's vicinity had infringed.)
Maybe a solution is to set up NPE’s for every “development” you implement. Any legal eagles on the list want to comment about how this would work? Eg if a hotel chain sets up a LLC to run their website and “licenses” the website from this entity but with no real assets in the entity (and carve outs should they face legal challanege the contract is null and void immediately etc) then when the “web site entity” gets sued for a patent claim this LLC could be shut down and the hotel chain sets up another entity…..
Ridiculous idea but might just be the way we need to do business in the future.
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