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This article was published on October 3, 2011

    Patent Troll assures us that we won’t all be sued for using WiFi, yet

    Patent Troll assures us that we won’t all be sued for using WiFi, yet
    Drew Olanoff
    Story by

    Drew Olanoff

    Drew Olanoff was The Next Web's West Coast Editor. He coined the phrase "Social Good" and invented the "donation by action" model for onlin Drew Olanoff was The Next Web's West Coast Editor. He coined the phrase "Social Good" and invented the "donation by action" model for online charitable movements. He founded #BlameDrewsCancer. You can follow him on Twitter, Google+, Facebook, or email [email protected]

    As you know, this is a litigious society. There are companies set up all around the world to purchase companies who have portfolios of trademarks and patents. See, the company isn’t going to use these trademarks and patents for anything real, be it a product or service. No, it’s going to use these to sue people and try and win money.

    Take this company for example, Innovatio IP. According to a report by TechDirt, it has been suing companies for patent infringement on what seems to cover any implementation of WiFi (Wireless Internet).

    So far, the company has sued companies such as Caribou Coffee, Cosi, Panera Bread Co, Marriott, Best Western, and Comfort Inns hotels. Just for offering WiFi in its establishments. Innovatio IP’s lawyers will let them settle for anywhere between $2,300 and $5,000. That sure is nice of them.

    The real interesting part of the story was this quote by one of its lawyers Matthew McAndrews:

    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,” McAndrews said during a phone conversation last week.

    The company is basically saying that it’s just choosing not to sue people who have personal WiFi in their homes just yet. Could that be coming? From the looks of things, we can’t put it past them.

    McAndrews continued:

    We want you to continue to use this technology, we just want our client to get his due share. This is not a seat-of-the-pants, fly-by-night shakedown.

    That sure is nice of Innovatio IP. What do you think of companies who use patent and trademarks to troll for money? Are you afraid that your personal WiFi capabilities may be taken away, or worse yet, you will be sued for having it? Speak up in the comments.