CEO & Founder of Jump Rope, Inc., an app startup in Illinois
Like many entrepreneurs, I started with a simple idea: give people who are tired of waiting in long lines at nightclubs, restaurants, airports or other venues the choice to pay to skip the line. Soon after my company, Jump Rope, launched publicly, we were sued for violating a patent that claims ownership over “a method and system for reserving future purchases of goods and services.”
Because I was confident that Jump Rope did not infringe, I refused the offer of a “modest” license fee and fought back in court. Fortunately, the judge ruled in my favor, but the court battle cost more than $100,000 out of my pocket, and would have been much more had the judge not ruled in near-record time and without moving forward with expensive discovery. The judge was so offended by the plaintiff’s meritless allegations the company was ordered to pay my legal fees — a sanction that is authorized by our laws but very rarely imposed. Unfortunately, when the plaintiff is a shell company, collecting those fees is nearly impossible.
The Senate must act quickly to stop abusive patent litigation from undermining startups and innovators before the consequences become too great. You can read more about my story here.
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