FTC settles its first consumer-protection case against patent trolls

As the New York Times reports,

The Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday that it had settled its first consumer-protection lawsuit against a company for using “deceptive sales claims and phony legal threats” to try to get unsuspecting companies to license patents.

At issue is the practice of a company called MPHJ Technology Investments, described by the Times as "a patent-assertion entity, a company whose sole business is the buying of patents for use in asserting infringement claims." MPHJ threatened thousands of small to mid-size businesses with lawsuits for their use of document scanners in conjunction with a computer network, but filed no lawsuits and had no intention to do so, according to the FTC complaint.

The settlement seems mild, though: it just prohibits false representatons asserting patent rights going forward.

Read the Times story here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *