updated 12:35 pm EDT, Tue October 4, 2011
Innovatio IP wants settlements from franchises
Innovatio IP Ventures, a company that owns a portfolio of patents reportedly tied to Wi-Fi technology, has began suing coffee shops, grocery stores, restaurants and hotels for allegedly infringing upon those patents. According to PatentExaminer, the company's strategy is to prey on ill-prepared franchises rather than parent companies and offering them the option of settling for between $2,300 and $5,000. Innovatio is represented by Niro, Haller & Niro, the firm associated with patent trolls from the time the term was coined.
The lawyer who represents the company, Matthew McAndrews, implied the patents cover everyone who has a home Wi-Fi setup. He said Innovatio IP made the strategy not to pursue all of these users at this time, however. McAndrews said his client and him want users to continue using Wi-Fi, though he wants his client to get his due share.
Motorola and Cisco took Innovatio IP to court, seeking a declaratory judgment that its Wi-Fi products do not infringe upon Innovatio's patents. This could set a key precedent to stop the firm's advances. Many have also argued that suing individuals could be illegal. [via TechDirt]