Michael Skelps

Owner, Capstone Photography, a sports photography business in Connecticut

My business delivers high-quality photography services at sporting events, capturing photos of athletes for their own use. We built a company website where athletes could look up their photos by their race number – a common tool that many photographers utilize online.

However, on New Year’s Eve of 2013, my small business was sued by patent troll Photocrazy. I received a notice of a lawsuit claiming we had used patented methods of cataloging race photos online without paying licensing fees. After spending $100,000 in legal fees, 10 months of abusive litigation, and significant downsizing, we successfully defended against these frivolous lawsuits. But, more than a year later, we are still recovering from exorbitant legal fees, none of which we were able to recoup from the legal system.

Patent trolls are abusing the system and using it as a weapon against legitimate businesses, harming innovation, driving small companies out of business, and overtaxing our already overburdened litigation system. Congress must act as soon as possible to fix our broken patent system, protecting businesses while also ensuring our intellectual property is protected as well. You can read more about my story here.

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