Patent troll paid to Kaspersky Lab for the opportunity to avoid litigation

Modern patent trolls look much more intelligent than their "ancestors". But the principles of work are the same.

Yesterday, Yevgeny Kaspersky, the head of Kaspersky Lab, told in his blog about the completion of a long history of opposition to the patent troll Wetro Lan. According to the businessman, this case can be called unprecedented, since the company managed not only to withdraw the lawsuit, but also to force the opponent to pay for the right to terminate the trial. The money is relatively small, given the specifics of the proceedings - about $ 5,000. But indeed, the voluntary-compulsory transfer of funds from the patent troll organization to which he was trying to sue is something out of the ordinary.

The company, which filed a lawsuit against Laboratories, began operations in the fall of 2016. The defendant received a patent infringement claim for data packet filtering technology. The claim contained a proposal to settle the problem in the pretrial order, of course, not just like that, but with the payment of a certain amount of money by Kaspersky Lab.

A patent that has been the subject of controversy can be viewed here . In fact, it describes the principle of the firewall. The most interesting thing is that all this was documented long before the patent was registered. The author of the document, which managed to register the patent, did not renew its validity. But after the patent had lost its validity, it was bought by the company Wetro Lan. Immediately after that, the attack of this company on many organizations from the IT sector began. More truly, on many tens such organizations. As for Kaspersky Lab, it had to become a respondent in a number of its products, starting in 2010 and ending in 2012.

As usual, this dispute looked sewn with white thread from the very beginning. But formally, the court must comply with all the requirements of the law regarding patent disputes, and these requirements are very strict. The defendants have to pay for the work of lawyers, for business trips to employees, to spend time getting acquainted with the documentation on the judicial process, etc. Not all companies have the time and money, so many prefer to just pay, because the pre-trial agreement, as a rule, have a much lower price tag than the one offered by the plaintiff during the trial.

According to Kaspersky, his company prefers court to agreements, because patent trolls are like blackmailers - once you pay and then you pay constantly. Actually, there is nothing to be surprised at all of this, since patent trolls have been working in the field of IT for a very long time. Many such organizations specifically seek out patents that describe existing, deep-rooted technologies and begin to sue them.

Having learned that the “Laboratory” is still going to sue, the patent troll decided to reduce the amount of the pretrial settlement, having offered the company to pay him $ 60,000 first, then “only” $ 10,000. In some cases, if the company refuses to pay, the troll takes the claim and the lawsuit is canceled. All remain with their own. But in this particular case, Kaspersky Lab decided not to retreat and launch an attack. Namely - to demand compensation from Wetro Lan, and rather big ones - the same $ 10,000.

Evgeny Kaspersky speaks at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona

The interests of the patent troll in court were represented by Corcoran IP Law, which very often stands up "to protect" the interests of the trolls. According to Kaspersky, offhand, he and his colleagues found 148 records of the affairs of this law firm. These cases can be found on the corresponding link .

As a result, the parties agreed to pay $ 5,000 from the troll, with the signing of the relevant document.

Eugene Kaspersky, among other data, provides statistics on collisions with patent trolls. According to him, there were five total claims won in court (that is, the court refused the plaintiff to satisfy his claims). In the pre-trial order, we managed to “fight off” 23 times.

Of course, for defendants their disputes with patent trolls do not always end so successfully. For example, last year a court ordered Apple to pay VirnetX $ 625 million. Not thousands, but indeed millions. At various times, Cisco, Avaya, Siemens, Microsoft and others have become victims of VirnetX.

This year, Cloudflare fought with the patent troll Blackbird. The battle is still going on.

The scammers had to put an end to the “The Innovation Act of 2013” law. He was even accepted by the lower house of the US parliament, but he did not make it to the Senate. Moreover, over the past ten years, the number of patent lawsuits has increased by about 6 times, 70% of such lawsuits are filed by patent trolls.


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