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Ask Slashdot: What to do about patent trolls seeking Wifi license fees?

Anonymous Coward writes | about a year and a half ago


An anonymous reader writes "My company has been contacted by certified letter by Delaware law firm “Stamatios & Weinblatt LLC”. They are seeking license fees for a Wifi patent. I believe this is a patent troll (not that this matters in relation to dealing with this issue). This is a newly formed law firm less than 4 months old. They are representing “Wyncomm LLC” in regards to a “Wifi patent”. This patent is U.S. Patent No. 5,506,866. This patent covers equipment and method related to the transmission of information involving the multiplexing information into a stream of signal points (and demultiplexing the same), and related technology. They have “offered” to license this patent with no amounts specified. Unfortunately we are a small free software company. The company is setup as a sole proprietorship. I'm not asking for legal advise from the Slashdot community. The question is where might one look for “legal counsel” with the expertise to answer these types of legal questions as it relates to this inquiry. I would prefer to avoid legal fees, court cases, or license fees running the company into the ground. The company is registered in New Jersey."

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Ignore them. (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42772605)

That patent was issued to AT&T, and it describes a modem that enables simultaneous voice and data communications over a telephone network. It has nothing to do with WiFi. Given the history of what happened to AT&T, it's quite possible that they sold it to some patent troll company now known as Wyncomm.

Or, maybe you want to spend some of your free time reeling this one in. You could ask the law firm for for documents showing that Wyncomm, LLC owns this patent and to provide you with proof that Wyncomm, LLC has hired their firm to represent them in an action against you.

And if they actually come up with any of that information, you could ask them to name the specific equipment you are using that they say infringes the patent. But don't volunteer any information about what equipment you are using.

Re:Ignore them. (1)

Anti Cheat (1749344) | about a year and a half ago | (#42773177)

Agree with above but there is a flaw in that. They are likely just trying to bleed money out of your company, knowing it is cheaper to pay them off, than going to court. Admit nothing and keep demanding exactly what and how there is infringement as was suggested. Unfortunately they don't have to tell you what exactly the infringement is. They can simply keep making the demands until the time in the court process when they must do a disclosure to the court and you. By that time, your bills will be huge and growing, even before you can defend against it. They hope to either win financially without court action, get an injunction to starve you out, or outright bankrupt your company, long before a court resolution occurs. A win win for them. Unfortunately it seems US law is badly in favour of patent trolls long before any justice might occur. Even if you win you lose, as your company may never recover enough to ever get back what was lost. Only deep pockets can fight this type injustice. Not only does a company lose, but so does the consumer. Higher prices and technology advancement that is retarded because of this imbalance. The perversion of the patent system, the madness and greed continues.
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