They See Me Trollin'

Survey Says: Patent Troll Shenanigans Cost U.S. Companies $29B Annually

(Illustration by David Saracino / New York Observer.)

Patent trolls–or, as a new study drolly dubs them, “non-practicing entities”–have a business model that’s simple, elegant, and dastardly: Buy broad patents and start suing companies that could conceivably be infringing upon them. And the costs are adding up to a nice chunk of change: Two researchers estimate the costs at no fewer than $29 billion, reports Ars Technica.

Plus, that’s just direct costs for things like lawyer bills and licensing fees. A previous study by the same pair put indirect costs at the stratospheric tab of $83 billion. Read More

They See Me Trollin'

No Sooner Does Etsy Raise $40M Than It’s Hit With a Dumb Patent Suit

(Illustration by David Saracino / New York Observer.)

Man, is there anything worse than getting mugged on payday? Just last week, Etsy announced a $40 million Series F with investors including Union Square Ventures and Accel Partners, a round that’ll help the company go global. But Unified Messaging Solutions–a subsidiary of the patent pitbulls over at Acacia Research Corporation–has other plans. GigaOm reports that firm has just filed a lawsuit accusing Etsy of infringing its patents on “methods for storing, delivering and managing messages.”

Sure it has, Unified Messaging Solutions. Sure it has. Read More