Thursday, September 12, 2013

Patent troll battle in Nebraska gets messy, but "frivolous" demands for license fees harass small businesses

 The battle against patent trolls in Nebraska has gotten even more complicated, according to a new story today in the Washington Post by Timothy B. Lee (link).  Nebraska’s Attorney General Jon Bruning has been named in a suit by Activision TV against a Nebraska bank. But the more controversial and seemingly frivolous litigation have come from other clients of a law firm called Franey Daniels, such as MPHJ, which demands a license fee from companies using certain scanners on a network, with a rate per employee.
  
The law firm appears to pressure defendants into paying questionable license fees for hard-to-verify patents to prevent the expense of litigation. 
  
An extreme case could occur if a blogger who got ad revenue had to pay an additional license fee for equipment in his home office.
  
Again, roving bloggers can become “dangerous”.  Monday night, as I rode the “surface” Red Line down Connecticut Ave in Washington DC I noticed a “Brothers” sewing machine shop.  I don’t know if it’s related to the printer sitting on my floor. I'll check it out later (lazy now).  My late mother used to try desperately to get her 1940s Singer sewing machine working again to fix my underwear. 
  

Wikipedia attribution link for Scotts Bluff NB, which I visited in Aug. 1994, on the Saturday of my “epiphany”.  This is still the Midwest. 

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