Q. My company recently received a letter alleging patent infringement and demanding payment for use of commercially available technology. We are not a technology company, but rather an end user of the technology. The patent owner has been referred to in media reports as a “patent troll.” What protections against patent trolls are in place for companies like mine and can I safely ignore the letter?
A. Recently, more and more businesses have been receiving letters of this type. Although so-called patent trolls (persons or companies that assert patent rights to collect license fees, but do not manufacture products or provide services, also known as non-practicing entities or NPE’s) have been around for many years, they have historically targeted companies that either develop, manufacture, or sell the technology in question. A trend has now emerged, however, where NPE’s target end users based on their use of off-the-shelf products.
To read my full article that was published in the Union Leader, please click here.