In recent years, American companies have faced a growing threat from patent assertion entities derisively called “patent trolls.” These often shadowy firms make money by threatening patent lawsuits rather than creating useful products. A recent study suggests that the roots of the patent trolling problem may lie with the US Patent and Trademark office—specifically with patent examiners who fail to thoroughly vet patent applications before approving them.
Playsaurus, a small Los Angeles-based game studio that makes Clicker Heroes and the upcoming Clicker Heroes 2, has recently been threatened with a lawsuit if it doesn’t pay $35,000 for a patent licensing fee to cover a patent for “electronic tokens.”
In a Thursday blog post, the CEO of Playsaurus wrote that the company that sent him the letter, GTX Corporation, is a “patent troll.” CEO Thomas Wolfley called GTX’s demands to avoid “costly litigation” over Playsaurus’ use of electronic “Rubies” in its games “meritless.”
As Seen in Law360
Hollywood actress Kate Hudson’s activewear company Fabletics LLC filed suit Friday in California federal court against Landmark Technology LLC, which it alleges is a “patent troll” that sues companies seeking a payout even though its patents aren’t enforceable.
Fabletics said Landmark since 2008 has been involved in 39 lawsuits in California asserting U.S. Patent No. 6,289,319, an automatic data processing system with a central processor programmed to process e-commerce transactions between remote sites, but its claim is invalid because it involves an abstract idea that is not patent-eligible under the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2014 ruling in Alice v. CLS Bank International.
As Seen on RPX Blog
At RPX we know well that significant events—whether judicial, legislative, economic, or technological—shape patent litigation and market activity more than the mere passage of time. But the turn of a new year is a good moment to take a pulse. Below we provide updated metrics and analysis for patent litigation volume, transactions, and other indicators that shed light on the state of the patent ecosystem.