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.