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May 29, 2009

Scam Artists

Class act Alysha Schertz (pictured) at the BizTimes Milwaukee brings the locals up to snuff on the patented skanky in "Patent trolls try to rip off high tech firms." "Scam artist patent trolls can create major headaches for some companies."

Trolling for business, attorneys Steve Becker and Jeff Costakos with Foley and Lardner, current employer of beloved former USPTO director Jon Dudas, snare the lair of patent troll modus operandi. (That's Latin for patent scum.) "The troll offers the company a patent license for the technology in exchange for royalties."

Righteously combative GE Healthcare:

"This is a huge problem for companies like ours," said David Bates, intellectual property counsel for GE Healthcare. "It's extortion, and we do face (these problems) on a regular basis, and because of the way the system is set up we can't possibly keep up. It is definitely an unfair playing field. It can cost several millions of dollars to defend ourselves in some cases. It's just a matter of fighting on principle when we believe the claim being asserted against us is inept. Even if it costs more money to fight (than to settle), (GE Healthcare) will fight because we don't want to be seen as a weak target."

"I'm not sure the laws could ever change enough to take away (the troll's) business model," Bates said. "Trolls have very little cost of discovery in their patents, they don't have any products or any exposed revenue, it is just an unfair playing field."

Sounds like there might be an unfair playing field somewhere.

This is the kind of exciting late-breaking news found in BizTimes.com, covering Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin business news. Those BizTimes folks are ambitious. Wow. That's a really big area to serve. You can probably get a Blue Ribbon beer and some hot fried cheese up that way. Worth the trip, for sure.

About Alysha Schertz, seasoned journalist -

Alysha Schertz is a reporter with BizTimes Milwaukee, covering the technology beat. She also handles Personnel File and BizNotes submissions for the publication. Alysha is a 2007 graduate of Carroll College.

Posted by Patent Hawk at May 29, 2009 9:13 PM | Patents In Business


"The troll offers the company a patent license for the technology in exchange for royalties."

Wait a minute, you mean a patentee actually offers a license in exchange for a royalty????


And Alysha - report to my office STAT. Bring you kneepads.

Posted by: Just sayin' at June 1, 2009 12:47 AM

If being a patent troll is so lucrative, and if patent trolls have such an unfair advantage, then why don't GE and friends just go into the patent troll business?

Posted by: broje at June 10, 2009 1:27 PM

Some people have scrupples you know broje. Also, some people like to actually produce something instead of being the intellectual equivalent of a thug on the street.

Posted by: 6000 at June 10, 2009 2:07 PM

"the intellectual equivalent of a thug on the street"

Oooops, someone put the KoolAid in 6's BigGulp...

6 is the intellectual equivalent of a "slug" [squashed] on the street.

Posted by: Just sayin' at June 14, 2009 5:43 PM

Did someone say "skanky?" You may have meant "skinny," although, even from the head shot, it is clear that skinny may not be appropriate. Can you say "corn-fed?"

Posted by: Just sayin' at June 15, 2009 6:52 PM