Patent News

Nov. 25, 2014

BIOtechNOW Blog: Patent Trolls and Nigerian Scammers, by George Goodno

This post originally appeared in the BIOtechNOW blog on November 25, 2014.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the most notorious patent assertion entity (otherwise known as a patent troll) has agreed to a consent decree. Which means they have agreed to halt their deceptive business practices. Of course, that’s great news, and the FTC’s crackdown on such practices should continue.

But pulling back the curtain on such operations also helps us put the issue in proper context. According to The New York Times and other news sources, this particular offender, who goes by the name Jay Mac Rust, mailed out 16,000 letters warning small to midsize companies they had violated patents that he owned. From there he attempted to shake said companies down for $1,000 to $1,200 per employee to avoid legal action.