Chris Zenthoefer

Founder & CEO of ICEdot based in Oklahoma, emergency communication company in Oklahoma

I started my small business to help people in potentially life-threatening situations. Our product is a sensor that mounts on a bicycle, motorcycle or ski helmet and is designed to detect traumatic head impact. This innovation ensures that people who may be incapacitated by a life-threatening injury can receive the medical attention they need.

However, our mission was cut short when we were targeted by patent troll 911 Notify, which had already sued more than 40 other companies in the past year and a half. The tactics used against us are mirrored by countless other patent trolls that exploit key loopholes and deficiencies in our patent system to extort money from innovative startups. As a result, we faced the tough choice of defending ourselves against the frivolous patent claim and risking incurring millions in legal fees, devastating my company that was just getting on its feet.

My experience is not unique, and proves why so many small businesses, inventors and startups support reforming our patent system. If Congress does not pass comprehensive patent reform, we are the ones who are going to suffer, and perhaps even be sued into extinction. You can read more about my story here.