Founder & CEO of TMSoft, a software company in Virginia
My three-person company created a new app called White Noise that plays relaxing sounds to help people sleep. In 2013, we were sued by Lodsys, a patent troll based in Marshall, Texas, claiming we had violated one or more of their patents. I discovered my company was being sued when a patent lawyer from Texas emailed offering to defend me in this case. At first I thought this was clearly a mistake, but after speaking with other business owners, I learned I wasn’t alone.
Although the lawsuit was clearly frivolous, I was forced to defend myself and my company in the court system. The patent troll was quick to offer me a way out – just wire them $3,500 and they would drop the lawsuit. I soon found out that patent trolls don’t even want to go to court. They want the small businesses they sue to pay a licensing fee and not put up a fight.
America’s entrepreneurs and small businesses can’t afford to wait any longer for Congress to make patent-infringement lawsuits a fair contest. The good news is that legislation is now pending in Congress to change the current dynamic, making it more difficult for the trolls to extort legitimate small businesses. You can read more about my story here.
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