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Cisco, Netgear, Moto let fly at patent troll Innovatio

Cry ‘havoc’ and let slip the lawyers of war

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Last year, finding vendors like Cisco and Motorola uninterested in complying with its Wi-Fi patent trolling, Innovatio IP Ventures decided to direct its demands against end users instead.

Its approach was to seek small settlements against business Wi-Fi users on the basis that they were less likely to dig in and fight.

Now, as reported over at Techdirt, vendors have had enough, and are seeking to have Innovatio’s claims nuked by the US District Court in Northern Illinois.

The filing is a treat, accusing the defendant of engaging in a scheme “to indiscriminately and improperly threaten, defraud and extort money” from businesses, and stating that the scheme is conducted through “fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, and other forms of unfair and unlawful conduct”, using “improper threats of patent infringement lawsuits”.

The complaint points out that Wi-Fi kit is manufactured under RAND (reasonable and non-discriminatory) licenses – something that it says Innovatio hides from the users it threatens. Also, that the threats are “in breach of contractual obligations” (since all three vendors demonstrate that they licensed the patents in question).

In addition, the vendors note that some of the patents pursued by Innovatio are “patents that [the products] do not use or which have expired”.

The other nice observation made by Techdirt and detailed in the filing is that Innovatio was founded by Noel Whitely, a former VP of Intellectual Property at Broadcom – which sold its patents to Innovatio as the base of most of the troll’s portfolio. ®

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