Legal strategies for developers battling patent troll attacks


Desktop - legalIntellectual property disputes have impacted dozens, if not hundreds, of app developers over the past few years as companies with claims to various intellectual property try to get others to pay up. In some cases the claims of patent infringement may be the genuine pursuit of justice by inventors. In other cases, the patents are held by organizations that seem to have no intention of ever using them other than to extort money from developers. The legal name for such organizations is "non-practicing entities," or NPEs, but for many experts in the legal arena, they are simply known as patent trolls.

"Unfortunately with patent trolls because there are so many patents out there it's hard to know in advance what you might be hit for," said Daniel Nazer, an attorney with the San Francisco-based Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which has been advocating for more action against patent trolls. "All they do is buy patents and sue. They wait for other people to sell, and then they jump out of the shadows and say, 'We want a piece.'" Feature