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Patent Trolls Target Small Businesses With Lawsuit Threats. Here's How One Startup Fought Back

Minda Zetlin

Patent trolls are back, and now they’re targeting small businesses. But if one comes after you, don’t panic. And don’t be in a hurry to pay.

Imagine you open your mail to find a letter from a company you’ve never heard of. It says it has a patent on attaching scanned documents to emails, and since your employees have been doing that, it wants $1,000 per employee or else it will sue you in federal court. You only have 10 employees, and intellectual property attorneys cost something like $1,000 an hour. Do you pay up?

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